Fears HS2 leg from Birmingham to Leeds will be scrapped or scaled back
THE next phase of HS2 could be scrapped or scaled back, some Tory MPs fear.
Furious Red Wallers say that canning the Birmingham to Leeds leg would blow up Boris Johnson's levelling up promise, with the delay already costing the region £5billion.
Many were elected on the basis they would bring the high-tech line and its economic boost to their regions.
So far ministers have agreed to plough ahead with the London to Birmingham branch, before heading up to Crewe and Manchester.
Last week Transport Sec Grant Shapps pledged to continue the line to Leeds – but warned of a rethink on how it's achieved.
In a warning shot to the PM, the MPs have released a campaign video highlighting the benefits the line would bring their communities.
The nine MPs, including rising star Miriam Cates, say the railway needs to be built in full.
Speculation is rife among MPs that the line could sit on existing rail track, or end at East Midlands Parkway.
They also question why should the North and Midlands have to choose between substandard options when other parts of the country get what is required.
Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said: “HS2 has the power to bring jobs and investment to our region at a time when we’ve never needed it more.
“A high speed rail network going North, South, East and West would transform how we travel, connecting people to work and adding billions to the economy."
Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield and Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council added: “Delivering the Eastern Leg of HS2 would be a massive vote of confidence in our region, allowing people to get around more quickly and easily, as well as creating 150,000 new jobs."
Last week Transport Sec Grant Shapps gave a speech to Policy Exchange said the line would be delivered as previously planned.
He said: "We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds.”
But he warned: “The only question that we have is how to better integrate that with plans which have developed a very long way since HS2 was first dreamt up all those decades ago. That particularly pertains to the northern powerhouse rail."
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