HS2 extension scrapped and £36bn to be spent on new transport projects in the North, says Rishi Sunak

4 October 2023, 12:30 | Updated: 4 October 2023, 13:29

Rishi Sunak scrapped the HS2 extension in his speech
Rishi Sunak scrapped the HS2 extension in his speech. Picture: Alamy
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Rishi Sunak has confirmed he will scrap HS2 to Manchester - and will spend £36billion on other transport instead.

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After weeks of speculation he finally revealed the future of the rail line at his major party conference speech in Manchester.

He was cheered by activists as he used his keynote address to promise more cash for buses, other rail, and cars.

But he said that the line would run into central London as vowed.

"Every region outside of London will receive the same or more government investment than they would have done under HS2, with quicker results," he said.

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Rishi Sunak delivers his speech to the Tory party conference
Rishi Sunak delivers his speech to the Tory party conference. Picture: Alamy

Read More: What is HS2 and is it going to be scrapped?

He said he will create a ‘Network North,’ explaining: “With our new Network North, you will be able to get from Manchester to the new station in Bradford in 30 minutes, Sheffield in 42 minutes, and to Hull in 84 minutes on a fully, electrified line.”

He said that HS2 trains will run all the way to Euston in London but that the HS2 management will no longer run the project there.

"There must be some accountability for the mistakes made, for the mismanagement of this project," he says.

"We will instead create a new Euston development zone."

Mr Sunak even made a direct appeal to the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who has refused to rule out quitting his role over the move.

The PMs major address to the Tory faithful saw him make the case for long term decisions, rather than short term gains and politics as usual.

His wife Akshata Murthy was a surprise guest too, introducing her husband as her "best friend" snd lavishing praise on him.