Brighton and Hove’s economy could lose as much as £6 million a year if the high speed rail line HS2 goes ahead, it has been claimed.
According to an official report, carried out by management consultants KPMG for High Speed 2 Ltd, the city has been identified as one of 50 areas in the UK that will lose out from the project because they are not on the proposed route line.
The research carried out for High Speed 2 Ltd – which has been tasked by the Department for Transport with delivering the new high speed route – suggests Brighton and Hove’s economic output will fall by about £5.84 million a year because of the line, with businesses expecting to invest money in areas closer to the new line, which will link London, Birmingham and Crewe.
The 92-page paper was hailed by the Government who said it would boost the UK economy by as much as £15 billion a year through new jobs, investment and infrastructure.
But HS2 Action Alliance has used the report to suggest the line will actually negatively impact on the country and draw money out of some areas and into others.
Peter Chegwyn, local campaigns director for the HS2 Action Alliance, said: “Brighton and Hove has nothing to gain from HS2 but everything to lose, including jobs and economic output.”
He added: “KPMG admitted its report clearly shows the benefits of HS2 for some regions and the negative impacts it might have on others. HS2 is very bad news for the Brighton and Hove area as jobs could be lost if firms choose to relocate nearer to the new HS2 rail line.”
The same report highlighted that West Sussex could lose as much as £18.43 million.
It also suggested rail services from Arundel, Bognor, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham and Worthing could be reduced to help meet the £50 billion cost of the HS2 project.
Prior to the project’s relaunch, the Department for Transport said the line would help rebalance the economy but admitted it would not serve every city and region in the country.
On Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron told a gathering in Peacehaven that the Government would be spending three times more on other rail and road investments than it would on HS2.