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Sunday, July 21, 2024

PM axes HS2 Northern leg, takes Euston site out of management’s hands

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Speaking today at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that he is cancelling ‘the rest of the HS2 project’ and that the line run from Birmingham Curzon Street to London Euston.

Sunak promised that the savings made from scrapping the remainder of HS2 will be reinvested back into Northern transport projects.

“In its place, we will reinvest every single penny – £36 billion pounds – in hundreds of new transport projects in the North and the Midlands, across the country,” he said. “This means £36 billion of investment in the projects that will make a real difference across our nation.”

Sunak made much of the government’s Levelling Agenda, and of the transport projects which will he says benefit from these new funds.

“As result of the decision we’re taking today, every region outside London will receive the same or more government investment than they would have done under HS2, with quicker results. No government has ever development a more ambitious scheme for Northern transport than our new Network North.

“This is the right way to drive growth and spread opportunity across our country – to level up. With our new NN 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.”

“We’ll protect the £12 billion to link up Manchester and Liverpool as planned and will engage with local leaders on how best to deliver that scheme. We’ll build the Midlands Rail Hub connecting 50 different stations. We’ll help Andy Street extend the West Midlands Metro. We’ll build the Leeds trams. We’ll electrify the North Wales Mainline,” he added.

HS2’s connection to Euston will go ahead, the Prime Minister announced, but management of the Euston site will be taken out of the hands of HS2 Ltd, which, he said, must pay for its mismanagement.

“The management of HS2 will no longer be responsible for the Euston site. There must be some accountability for the mistakes made, for the mismanagement of this project. We will instead create a new Euston development zone, building thousands of new homes for the next generation of homeowners, new business opportunities and a station that delivers the capacity we need.

“In doing so, for the first time in the lifecycle of this project, we will have cut costs. The £6.5 billion of savings that Mark and I are making will be taken from the Euston site and give to the rest of the country.”

Image credit: iStockphoto.com

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