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HS2 funding redirected to revolutionise transport across the North and Midlands

A revolution in the country’s transport infrastructure will see billions of pounds redirected from spiralling HS2 costs to build the daily connections that people depend on – unlocking potential, driving growth and transforming communities.

The Prime Minister has unveiled his vision to deliver the forms of transport that people use the most. The new plans will radically improve travel between and within our cities and towns, and around our local areas – benefitting more people in more places, more quickly.

The cornerstone of this plan will be Network North which will drive better connectivity across the North and Midlands with faster journey times, increased capacity and more frequent, reliable services across rail, buses and roads. £36 billion will be invested in hundreds of transport projects across the country – with every region set to receive the same or more transport investment on an unprecedented scale as a result of the change.   A further £12 billion on top of this figure will be set aside for faster connectivity between Liverpool and Manchester.

This represents a fundamental shift in investment towards the people’s transport priorities, consistent with the Prime Minister’s pledge to grow the economy while ensuring value for money and demonstrating responsibility with taxpayers’ money.

More than four million people in cities in the North cannot currently reach their city centre by public transport within half an hour, which is detrimental to productivity and economic growth. And rail accounts for just 8 per cent of distances travelled and 2 per cent of all journeys.

Yet the HS2 project currently accounts for over one-third of all Government’s transport investments, preventing the Government from spending on people’s genuine priorities and doing little to improve the journeys that people make the most.

Therefore, the Government will deliver HS2 between Euston in central London and the West Midlands as planned, with a station at Old Oak Common and Birmingham Interchange and branches to central Birmingham and Handsacre, near Lichfield – where HS2 trains for Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland will join the West Coast Main Line.

HS2 trains will run from Euston to central Birmingham in 49 minutes, 30 minutes faster than now; from Euston to Manchester in 1 hr 40 minutes, 27 minutes faster than now; from Euston to Liverpool in 1 hr 45 minutes, 26 minutes faster than now; and also to Lancashire, Cumbria and Scotland, saving significantly on current journey times.

Rather than delivering HS2 Phase 2 new line between Birmingham and Manchester, the Prime Minister is taking action to deliver greater frequency and quality of transport infrastructure across the whole country.

Communities in towns, cities and rural areas will see improved transport infrastructure far sooner through £19.8 billion reinvested in the North, including:

  • £2 billion for a new station at Bradford and a new connection to Manchester;
  • £2.5 billion to deliver a new mass transit system in West Yorkshire;
  • £3 billion for upgraded and electrified lines between Manchester and Sheffield, Sheffield and Leeds, Sheffield and Hull, and Hull-Leeds.
  • Nearly £4 billion more funding for local transport in the North’s six city regions.
  • A new £2.5 billion fund for local transport across all areas in the North outside the six city regions – smaller cities, counties, towns and countryside.
  • A new £3.3 billion fund for road resurfacing.
  • Landmark investments in roads, reopened train lines and new stations;

The government will also invest a further £12 billion to better connect Manchester to Liverpool. This would allow the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail as previously planned, including high-speed lines.

The government has ssaid it will work with local leaders to agree whether they wish to suggest other ways to achieve the objectives within that cost envelope.

£9.6 billion reinvested in the Midlands:

  • Funding the Midlands Rail Hub in full with £1.75 billion, connecting 50 stations and over 7 million people – doubling capacity and frequency;
  • Over £1.5 billion guaranteed local transport funding for the new East Midlands Mayor;
  • Over £1 billion extra local transport funding for West Midlands City Region;
  • A new £2.2 billion fund for local transport across all areas in the West and East Midlands outside the city regions – smaller cities, counties, towns and countryside.
  • Reopened train lines and new stations such as the Ivanhoe Line;
  • The development of Midlands road schemes to benefit businesses and their employees at Rolls Royce, Toyota, and Magna Park, generating over £12 billion for the local economy.

£6.5 billion for the rest of the country:

  • Rail improvements in the Southwest;
  • Keeping the £2 bus fare until the end of December 2024;
  • Ensuring the delivery of road schemes;
  • Transforming Ely Junction; and billions to fix potholes on the country’s roads;
  • Greater connectivity for both Scotland and Wales with improvements to the A75 between Gretna and Stranraer, and £1 billion to fund the electrification of the North Wales Main Line.

To ensure regions are best equipped to reach their productivity potential, local authorities and Metro Mayors will be empowered to create the public transport networks that their communities want to see.

A broader package of infrastructure planning reforms will also be set out in the coming months to remove burdens to building to ensure these projects are delivered and benefits felt in communities more quickly.

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