Latest Rail News

03.09.18

HS2 suffers setback as legislation delayed by 12 months

Preparations for the introduction of HS2 have suffered a blow after reports surfaced of the government preparing to impose a 12-month parliamentary delay to the £56bn project.

Information revealed by The Times found that legislation required to progress the high-speed rail link to the north of England is to be put on hold for a year. It is now believed legislation connecting the line connecting Leeds and Manchester will be tabled in two years’ time.

The pushback is the latest in negative news for HS2: last month it was found that one in four HS2 staff were paid over £100k a year. Just days earlier, the chair of the National Infrastructure Commission found that an extra £43bn was needed to make the most of the project.

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: "Any delay in the process which will deliver HS2 to the North is concerning and it is essential that this does not have a knock-on impact on the timetable for construction or the opening of the eastern leg."

The leader noted it was "imperative" that HS2 is opened in northern England on schedule.

A spokesperson for the DfT said: “In order to maximise the huge potential of HS2, it is important to make sure it takes full account of the emerging vision for the other transformative project of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“Phase 2b of the railway will connect the great cities of the north to boost jobs, housing and economic growth, and remains on track to open in 2033. We will update parliament as part of our consultation this autumn.”

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