The North needs full delivery of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail

A high-speed rail revolution across the Northern Powerhouse is essential to improving connectivity, raising productivity and unlocking growth. 

In February 2020, after months of campaigning from NPP, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the go-ahead to delivering HS2, both the Western and Eastern Leg, as well as Northern Powerhouse Rail across the Pennines. 

His decision came as the Oakervee Review “strongly advise[d] against cancelling” HS2, adding that it didn’t “make sense” to only build one section of the line which will link the North and South of England. 

Both Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 have substantial support from civic and business figures in the North, who say that an efficient high-speed rail network north to south, east to west, will attract investment and create jobs. 

However there is increasing uncertainty over whether the government will keep its promise to deliver both projects in full, with fears that the Eastern Leg of HS2 will be scrapped altogether. Grant Shapps MP, Transport Secretary and Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, responded to these concerns in May 2021 by committing to build HS2 all the way to Leeds.

Now is time to put right the missed opportunity of not having begun building from the North in the first place.

The secure future of both projects will be decided in the government’s Integrated Rail Plan, which was due to be published on June 3rd 2021 according to the timeline announced at the Budget.

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The North needs HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail to transform connectivity, attract investment and unlock growth.

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