HS2 Rail Link: 'Cities Could Lose Up To £220m'
Some cities in the UK could lose as much as £220m if a new high-speed rail link is built, previously unseen figures have shown.
If HS2 goes ahead, it will leave more than 50 areas worse off - details that were omitted from a Government-commissioned report in September, it is claimed.
The full findings of the KPMG study into the north-to-south rail route were released under a Freedom of Information request by the BBC's Newsnight programme.
Last month, the Department for Transport hailed the study, which found the UK economy would be boosted by £15bn a year, with Greater London benefitting by £2.8bn and the West Midlands by £1.5bn.
But the study shows many areas not on the line - which would connect London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds - will suffer a fall in economic output.
The worst-hit areas will be Aberdeenshire (-£220m), Norfolk East (-£164m), Dundee and Angus (-£96m), Cardiff (-£68m) and Norfolk West (-£56m).
Professor Henry Overman, who was an expert adviser to HS2 Ltd, told the BBC it was obvious that as some areas reap the benefits of being better connected, other places away from the line will pay a price.
"When a firm is thinking of where to locate, it thinks about the relative productivity of different places, and the relative wages etc," he said.
"HS2 shifts that around. So if you are on the line, that makes you a better place that hasn't had that productivity improvement."
Alison Munro, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, told Newsnight the figures were unsurprising.
"What this is showing is that the places that are on the high-speed network ... those are the places that will benefit most from high-speed two," she said.
"But high-speed two isn't the only investment that the Government is making. Over the next five years it is planning to spend £73bn on transport infrastructure."
Earlier this month, the Treasury Select Committee said HS2 had "serious shortcomings" and should be put on hold.
It said a "more convincing" economic case was needed for the scheme, which is now estimated to cost £42.6bn - 17% higher than first thought.
A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "These figures show that the new north south railway is vital to rebalance our economy and it boosts the north overall more than the south. Of course the line does not serve every city and region and these figures reflect that.
"But it is wrong to take them in isolation. HS2 is part of a much bigger boost to our transport system - £73bn in the next parliament, of which HS2 is just £17bn. This will massively benefit places HS2 will not serve long before the line opens."