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Government Scraps Leeds Leg of HS2

Government Scraps Leeds Leg of HS2
23 November 2021
 

HS2’s Eastern leg has been scrapped as part of cost-cutting measures in the government’s Integrated Rail Plan.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, writing for The Yorkshire Post, said:

“HS2 will come to Sheffield, meaning a trip to or from London will take just one hour 27 minutes – precisely the same as under the old HS2 plans.

“We’ll look at how to get HS2 to Leeds too, with a new study on the best way to make it happen.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “TfN’s options for full new build high-speed line were carefully studied but would have made journeys between Leeds and Manchester only 4 minutes faster at a cost of an extra £18 billion, and taken up to a decade longer to deliver.”

Now that the East Midlands-Leeds high-speed line has been axed, HS2 trains will run on existing upgraded routes in the area.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

“...Businesses across the Midlands and Northern England will be justifiably disappointed to see the goalposts have moved at the eleventh hour, and concerned that some of the areas most sorely in need of development will lose out as a result of the scaled-back plans.”

Cllr James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, also expressed his disappointment:

“This is not the first time our city has been promised major infrastructure investment, only for it to be curtailed or cancelled. It is 10 years this month since the Transpennine Route upgrade was announced, yet we are still waiting for the fully-defined scheme, and it is 30 years since the idea of a ‘supertram’ was first mentioned.

“So we will reserve judgement on delivery until we see spades in the ground. The Leeds-Sheffield connection is the most advanced and shovel-ready section of HS2 and NPR, and will bring immediate benefits between two core cities along with benefiting many communities in between by freeing up capacity on local routes. We already know there is no capacity to bring more trains into Leeds from the West and no more land available either.

"We are calling for the Leeds to Sheffield work to be fast-tracked and delivered without delay whilst the government carries out yet more studies or reviews.”

 

Image

 

What Work Will Continue?

 

 

  • A complete HS2 line from Crewe to Manchester, with new stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly
  • A new high-speed line between Birmingham and East Midlands Parkway. Trains will continue to central Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield on an upgraded and electrified Midland Main Line
  • The complete electrification of the Midland Main Line from London to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield.
  • A programme of rapid upgrades to the East Coast Main Line to the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East. Journey times will be up to 25 minutes faster than now

 

Picture: a photograph of Colne Valley Viaduct. Image Credit: HS2

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 November 2021

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