I instinctively don’t believe this – am I being too cynical. This article tells us:

Bridget Rosewell, a leading economist and director of Network Rail, said the benefit costs calculated by KPMG had only accounted for current productivity being able to move more freely. She argued that the new connectivity would create economic growth that could not yet be seen.

At a fringe event also attended by Transport Secretary Patrick McLauglin, Ms Rosewell said: “The estimates that we’ve got are all about productivity benefits. But they are just about shifting things from one place to another. They’re not about creating anything new. If we take the KPMG £15bn, my guess is that we can add at least 25pc to that on how market access creates new growth that we haven’t thought about.”

Ms Rosewell said the estimates were based on similar calculations she made on the benefits of the extension of the Northern Line in London.

Mr McLaughlin said the true benefits of HS2, which could cost as much as £50bn to build, could not be calculated properly by financial models. “We’re not building this [to be used] for five years or 10 years, this railway will be being used in 100 years,” he said. “Sometimes you can’t get that on a benefit cost ratio analysis. When you look at the benefit/cost ratio for the Jubilee line in London it didn’t stack up but if it hadn’t been built nor would Canary Wharf have been built.”

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