Fears that the HS2 stage from Birmingham to Leeds will be deleted or reduced
The next phase of HS2 could be eliminated or reduced, fear some conservative MPs.
Furious Red Wallers say the canning of the Birmingham leg at Leeds would blow up Boris Johnson’s promise to upgrade, with the delay already costing the region £ 5bn.
Many were elected on the basis that they would bring the high-tech line and its economic boost to their regions.
So far, ministers have agreed to move forward with the London branch in Birmingham, before moving on to Crewe and Manchester.
Last week, transport sec Grant Shapps pledged to continue the line to Leeds – but warned of an overhaul of the way that is done.
In a wake-up call to the prime minister, MPs released a campaign video highlighting the benefits the line would bring to their communities.
The nine MPs, including rising star Miriam Cates, say the railroad needs to be fully built.
Speculation is rife among MPs that the line could sit on the existing railway line, or end at East Midlands Parkway.
They also wonder why the North and Midlands should choose between substandard options when other parts of the country get what is needed.
Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said: “HS2 has the power to create jobs and investment in our region at a time when we have never needed it so much.
“A high-speed rail network running north, south, east and west would transform the way we travel, connecting people to work and adding billions to the economy.”
Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield and Head of Nottinghamshire County Council added: ‘The delivery of the eastern part of the HS2 would be a massive vote of confidence in our region, allowing people to move faster and easier, as well as to create 150,000 new jobs. “
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Last week, Transportation Sec Grant Shapps delivered a speech to Policy Exchange, saying the line would be delivered as previously planned.
He said: “We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern section to Leeds.”
But he warned, “The only question we have is how best to integrate this with plans that have developed far since HS2 was first imagined all these decades ago. This particularly concerns the North Power Station railway. “