HS2 'will be scrapped': Trusted source says Manchester to Birmingham line will go as billions lost

​Rishi speaking at the Tory party conference in Manchester

Rishi speaking at the Tory party conference in Manchester

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 02/10/2023

- 14:06

Updated: 02/10/2023

- 18:32

A Government source has told GB News that 'no decisions have been made' yet

A trusted source has told GB News the PM will scrap the HS2 route between Manchester and Birmingham.

Rishi Sunak has not made any official statement at the Tory Party Conference about the future of the northern leg of HS2.

A Government source has claimed "no decisions have been made" yet.

However, GB News has heard from multiple insiders at the conference that the High Speed line will be scrapped.

The Treasury is reported to have signed off a package to reallocate the money to other transport projects in the North.

An aerial view shows the site of the Birmingham High Speed Railway construction site at Curzon Street in Birmingham, England. The Birmingham to Crewe leg of HS2 will be delayed by two years due to increasing costs. Picture date: Monday March 27, 2023.An aerial view shows the site of the Birmingham High Speed Railway construction site at Curzon Street in Birmingham, England, picture taken in March 27, 2023. PA

If the Birmingham to Manchester leg is axed, the line running from London to Birmingham will no longer extend into the North.

The north west will now no longer have a direct high speed rail connection into London, if the reports of cancellation are true.

The rail project has continually been pushed back and ballooned in cost, from £32billion to £71billion.

Rumours have been circulating for months that the planned route between Birmingham and Manchester would be shelved due to mounting costs.

Doubts were first cast after The Independent reported that ministers were considering sacking off the northern leg of the project due to rocketing costs.


HS2 high vis vestHS2 has already seen its costs balloonPA

The paper said that the Government were estimated to have spent £2.3billion on the northern part of the project.

However, if they were to ditch it, they could save up to £34billion overall.

The planned Leeds leg had already been scrapped and now the high-speed railway could go no further north than Birmingham.

It is understood that the Department of Transport (DfT) has drawn up a package of alternative projects that the money can be spent on, including rail, bus and road schemes.

Andy BurnhamAndy Burnham has threatened the Government with legal action over HS2, warning: "We are fighting back"PA

Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, accused the Government of forgetting about the North, stating that they were "completely ignored" by Westminster.

Speaking with GB News, Burnham questioned: "Why does the money always run out in the north? Why are people here always treated as second-class citizens when it comes to transport by people in Whitehall?

"If HS2 had been built first in Manchester and was going down the country, do we think the London leg would be scrapped? Of course it wouldn't."

Burnham said Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh confirmed to him that Labour will build HS2 if elected next year.

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