Latest Rail News


Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more than 20 prominent local government leaders from the north and the midlands have warned.

In a letter to the Treasury chief secretary Liz Truss, the council leaders, mayors and businesses have claimed that the £56bn project is already having a positive impact on investment and jobs.

Citing “decades of under-investment between our major cities,” the letter acknowledges the problems facing the transport network but says that “deciding not to proceed with HS2 would hinder, rather than help, efforts to address those challenges.”

The letter, which comes days after a damning report from a Lords committee, states: “Altogether, city regions around the route have plans to create nearly 500,000 jobs and add billions to the UK economy.”

“Now, more than ever, we should be proud to build Europe’s largest infrastructure project without delay. Failure to make a clear commitment to the full delivery of HS2 at this time would be a disaster for our regional economies and our national prosperity for decades to come.”

The letter claims it is essential that the Spending Review “avoids making false distinctions between investment in local, regional and national transport infrastructure,” which comes amid speculation that the Treasury’s review may consider scrapping HS2.

The letter has been signed by representatives of local authorities from Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, North Yorkshire, Sunderland, Durham and Lancashire, as well as mayors such as Andy Street from the West Midlands and business leaders.

HS2 has been under heavy pressure due to rising costs, largely down to spiralling land acquisition costs, and it has been proposed that the project could run with fewer or slower trains.

Last week the Economic Affairs Committee published a ‘Rethinking High Speed 2’ report which states that HS2 will not offer value for money and risk “short-changing” the north.

But speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mark Thurston urged policymakers “not to lose sight” of the benefits of the project, and said the business case for HS2 was “clear.”


What does the future look like for HS2? Get your answers from Mark Thurston, Chief Executive, HS2 Ltd & Lorna Pimlott, Director of Sponsorship & Policy, Phase 2, HS2 Ltd at TransCityRail Midland on the 18th July, Click here to find out more. 


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



Rail industry Focus

  • 27/01/2020ORR launch signalling systems market study

    The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today (Jan 27) opened a market study into the supply of rail signalling systems. The study will aim to examine issues within the rail signalling marketplace and...
  • 23/01/2020Innovation and Safety - David Clarke, RIA

    Source: RTM Dec 19/Jan 20   David Clarke, Technical Director, Railway Industry Association talks us through the ways innovation can be used to make the railway even safer. In a safety critical...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >