Plans for HS2, the high-speed rail link from London to the Midlands and northern England, have been scaled back by the government.
The eastern section of the line has been scrapped and the Northern Powerhouse rail link between Manchester and Leeds has been decommissioned. Boris Johnson faced backlash from the decision after the government released its integrated rail plan in November 2021.
Huw Merriman, the conservative chairman of the Commons Transport select committee, accused the prime minister of “selling perpetual sunlight” but delivering “moonlight” instead.
However, Mr Johnson insisted the latest rail plan was a “fantastic” project and represented the “biggest investment in rail in at least 100 years”, worth £ 96bn.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also denied that the government had reneged on promises to improve connections to the North and Midlands in its revised rail plan for the region. He insisted the changes would mean faster journeys up to 10 years earlier than expected.
What is HS2?
High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed rail network project intended to improve transport links between London and the major cities of the Midlands and the north of England.
In November 2021, the government released its Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) for the North and Midlands, detailing how the project would move forward.
The construction of the new railway was divided into three sections: phase 1 connecting London and the West Midlands; Phase 2a connecting the West Midlands and the North via Crewe; and Phase 2b completing the railway to Manchester and Leeds.
High Speed 1 (HS1), the 67-mile railway that runs from London to the Channel Tunnel, was fully opened in 2007 at a cost of £ 5.8 billion.
What changes have been made to the HS2 route?
The eastern section of the HS2 which was designed to connect the East Midlands and Leeds has been scrapped. Instead, the high-speed line will stop at a new East Midlands Parkway station, about six miles southwest of Nottingham, with HS2 trains then continuing to Sheffield on upgraded main tracks.
Plans for a new line between Manchester and Leeds via Bradford have also been scrapped and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will instead be a combination of new tracks and improvements to existing infrastructure.
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This notice was published: 2021-12-09 14:09:33