Sunak confirms HS2 Manchester leg axed


Rishi Sunak has confirmed the cancellation of the HS2 north of Birmingham but has said that the high speed rail line will still go to Euston, albeit with the scheme taken away from HS2 Ltd.

In his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the prime minister pledged that ‘every single penny’ of the £36bn saved would be spent on transport projects.

He listed a raft of new rail and road projects and the continuation of the £2 cap on bus fares, although he gave little detail and it is not clear how many of the schemes would have been taken forward anyway.

He told delegates that a new ‘Network North’ would be the Government’s priority, rather than North – South links.

Claiming that the facts on HS2 had changed post-Covid, he said he was cancelling ‘the rest of the HS2 project’ but later clarified that will it would go all the way to Euston in line with the initial plan.

He said: ‘With our new Network North, you will be able to get from Manchester to the new station in Bradford in 30 minutes, Sheffield in 42 minutes, and to Hull in 84 minutes on a fully, electrified line.’

He said the government would:

  • 'protect' the £12bn to link up Manchester and Liverpool ‘as planned’
  • build the Midlands Rail Hub, connecting 50 stations
  • 'help Andy Street extend the West Midlands Metro'
  • build the Leeds tram,
  • electrify the North Wales main line
  • upgrade the A1, the A2, the A5, the M6…
  • 'connect our Union' with the A75 boosting links between Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • fund the Shipley bypass and the Blyth relief road
  • deliver 70 other road schemes
  • resurface roads across the country
  • bring back the Don Valley line
  • upgrade the energy coast line between Carlisle, Workington and Barrow
  • build hundreds of other schemes

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