Politics

HS2 rail's eastern leg to finally be killed off in Tory 'levelling up' betrayal


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Labour slammed Boris Johnson’s all-talk government for betraying and leaving behind communities who have suffered a poor transport connectivity for a decade and were promised a levelling-up of the country

The proposed design for a HS2 train
The proposed design for a HS2 train

The eastern leg of HS2 rail is set to finally hit the buffers next week.

The rapid route, linking Birmingham with Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds will be axed to save £40billion, as previously reported by the Sunday Mirror.

A Whitehall source said: “They’ll say it’s being put on hold – but in truth it’s being killed off. There’s no money left. It’s an embarrassment for the Tories – what on earth does it say about Boris ­Johnson’s pledge to level up the country?”

The bill for HS2 has soared from £32.7bn when approved in 2012 to £107.7bn. Work on the eastern leg – known as Phrase 2b and originally due by 2033 – was quietly halted in July.

Have the Tories betrayed the North and the Midlands? Have your say in the comment section








Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon blasted the Tories for betraying communities
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)



It is believed the Tories will instead this month offer a “bare minimum” of rail upgrades in the East Midlands and North.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: “Communities will rightly feel betrayed and left behind. Poor transport connectivity have been a problem for the last decade, yet all the Tories do is talk.”

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, whose Leicestershire North West constituency faced being cut in two by HS2, said the scheme was the ultimate “white elephant”.




The first phase of HS2 – London to Birmingham – is pressing ahead, as is the western leg to Manchester.

A formal announcement to knock back the eastern leg will be in the Integrated Rail Plan.

The delayed report will also reveal plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Midlands Rail Hub.


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