Revealed: 20 train routes which will now be slower than under HS2 plans

·3 min read
Northern leaders have reacted with fury to the government's plans. (PA)
Northern leaders have reacted with fury to the government's plans. (PA)

Politicians and businesses from the North of England have reacted with fury over a government U-turn on HS2.

The updated rail plan sees previous commitments scaled back or cancelled, with the flagship eastern route of HS2 between the Midlands and Leeds ditched entirely.

Defending the plans, transport secretary Grant Shapps said the £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) would slash journey times across the region with 110 miles of new high-speed line.

The new proposals means that 20 major routes in England will have longer journey times than originally promised under HS2 proposals

Only eight will see their times sped up.

The longer journeys are outlined in the table below.

(Yahoo)
All the journeys which will take longer under the new plans. (Yahoo)

Read more: Boris Johnson defends putting multi-million pound Tory donors into House of Lords

Currently, it takes 118 to travel between Birmingham and Leeds. Under the previous proposals this would have been cut to 49 minutes, this has now been raised to 89.

London to York was meant to be cut from 112 minutes to 84, but will now only be cut to 94 minutes.

The key Manchester to Leeds line currently takes 55 minutes and was due to be cut to 29 minutes, but that will now be 35.

Watch: Integrated Rail Plan: With cuts to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, travelling public have cause to feel let down over government's new rail plan

The changes new rail proposals include several cancellations of new lines which were due to ease capacity.

Instead, they are being replaced with improvements to the current rail stock.

The new plan has been criticised by all sides of the political divide.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood, near Selby, North Yorkshire, to coincide with the announcement of the Integrated Rail Plan. Picture date: Thursday November 18, 2021.
Boris Johnson faced anger from both sides of the Commons over the rail plan. (PA)

The Conservative chairman of the Commons Transport Committee Huw Merriman accused Boris Johnson of going back on past promises.

"The prime minister promised that HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail was not an either/or option and those in Leeds and Bradford may be forgiven for viewing it today as neither," he said.

"This is the danger in selling perpetual sunlight and leaving the others to explain the arrival of moonlight."

Robbie Moore, the Tory MP for Keighley, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the plan which had “completely short-changed” his constituents.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves arrive in Leeds where they will travel by train to Bradford to discuss the government's announcement of the future of the integrated Rail Plan. Picture date: Thursday November 18, 2021.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves criticised the government's plan while on a visit to Leeds train station. (PA)

“We are one of the most socially deprived parts of the UK and we must get better transport connectivity,” he said.

“I still want to see Northern Powerhouse Rail delivered with a main stop in Bradford, so that we can unlock our economic opportunities.”

Louise Gittins, interim chair of Transport for the North, which advises the Government on the region’s transport needs, said the plan was “woefully inadequate”.

She said: “Leaders from across the North and from across the party political divide came together to ask for a network that would upgrade the North for this century and in line with the rest of the country.

“Our statutory advice asked for an over £40 billion network, but the Government has decided to provide even less than half of that.”

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (a group that is chaired by ex-chancellor George Osborne) said: "What Northern leaders had proposed was an economically transformational vision. What we have is, as ever, second class."

Watch: Grant Shapps insists promises to North 'being fulfilled' despite cutting key HS2 line and downgrading Northern Powerhouse Rail

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