The original plan for HS2 was to connect London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds with the final phase running HS2 to Manchester and Leeds. However, the Leeds section was removed under the new plans.
But now the 57-year-old prime minister has rejected suggestions that he has broken his promises on Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) “because we are doubling capacity between Manchester and Leeds”, while also cutting the journey time from 55 to 33 minutes.
Lord Jim O’Neill, 64, a former finance minister who served in the treasury of former Chancellor George Osborne, and vice-president of the Northern Power Partnership, said this morning: “Considering the amount of turmoil it will cause in chairs of the Red Wall and a Conservative. northern parliamentarians, especially at the present time, I’m not entirely sure why they did that. “
The colleague also questioned Mr Johnson’s claim that the changes would still accelerate both travel speed and capacity, he told me: “Would anyone in the Government please explain how you can go from Manchester to Leeds in 33 minutes, and double the capacity?
“If Huddersfield to Leeds are on the existing line, it’s hard to understand how.
“The only way to square the circle is to use advanced digitization, which they claim, but will really be necessary.”
Phase 1 linking London and Birmingham is to be completed between 2028 to 2031.
Then Phase 2 lasting until Crewe and Manchester will be completed between 2029 and 2033.
The prime minister’s plans to deliver the new line between Leeds and Manchester were a key promise in 2019.
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The scrapped link to Leeds was seen cutting the journey between London and Leeds by 50 minutes.
According to the Yorkshire Post, Mr Johnson said: “HS2 will come to Sheffield, which means a journey to or from London will only take an hour and 27 minutes – exactly the same as according to the old HS2 plans.
“We will also look at how to get HS2 to Leeds, with a new study on the best way to make it happen.”
However, the Prime Minister did not mention how he would include Bradford directly on a brand new NPR route between Leeds and Manchester. Northern leaders called for that.
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The prime minister said the route upgrades between Leeds and Bradford would take place “in the early 2030s” to halve travel times as they commit to NPR reaching York.