- Government to redirect vast HS2 savings into unprecedented transport investment across the country, benefiting more people, in more places, more quickly.
- Scotland to benefit from funding to enable better links between the Cairnryan ferry terminals serving Northern Ireland and South West Scotland.
ACCORDING to the UK Department for Transport a total of £36 billion in savings from HS2 will be reinvested in hundreds of transport projects across the UK.
It is claimed that Network North will build better connectivity across the North and Midlands, with faster journey times, increased capacity, and more frequent, reliable services. Connections will also be strengthened across the United Kingdom, following recommendations made in the Union Connectivity Review.
The new policy promises that Scotland will benefit from funding to solve the pinch points on the A75 between Gretna and Stranraer, providing better links between the Cairnryan ferry terminals serving Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland – recognising the importance of east-west connectivity within the UK.
The move comes alongside further proposed investment in the connections with the M6 and Cumbria, and the A77 towards Glasgow.
Some are skeptical about this change of direction. The scrapping of the HS2 Northern Route marks the “biggest rail cut since Beeching axe” according to the GMB Union.
In response to the Prime Ministers announcement that HS2 will no longer reach Manchester, Laurence Turner, GMB Head of Research and Policy, said:
“Rishi Sunak’s decision to inflict the biggest rail cut since the Beeching axe will send a shockwave through the construction industry and railway supply chain, costing hundreds of jobs.
“The UK’s political instability was already holding the economy back – it will now be even harder to fund and deliver the new infrastructure that the country desperately needs.
“We can’t rebalance the economy or fix the railway capacity crisis without HS2. It’s essential that the planned route is now protected so that a future government can reverse this disastrous decision.”