Cancelling the eastern extension of HS2 that connects to Leeds and Sheffield, would be “out of touch” with the expectations of Northern leaders, according to Transport for the North (TfN). Earlier this year, the government announced an independent review into whether and how the HS2 scheme should proceed, with a final report due later this year.
Following speculation that the review into HS2 may consider stopping the eastern leg, TfN has warned against scaling back the project.
A spokesperson said: “As indicated in the HS2 Phase 2b command paper, there is spare capacity on both the Western and Eastern legs of HS2 that could be used to deliver wider regional connectivity. It would therefore be a huge missed opportunity if the current ambition for HS2 and the benefits it could deliver for the North East of England are scaled back; and such a decision would be seen as out of touch with what northern leaders would expect as part of a truly 21st century pan-northern rail network.
“In Transport for the North’s submission to the Oakervee Review we have asked that in any review of governance structures of HS2 that TfN is included on the HS2 Board so that the North has a direct say over future development and construction of the northern legs. This would better prevent decisions being taken that are not in the interests of the North of England.
“Together, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will make significant direct contributions to the connectivity and capacity of the UK, and they will provide new high speed services across and from the North that better meet customer expectations, as well as support future economic growth for decades to come.”
The proposed eastern leg of HS2 would connect Birmingham, Tonton in the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds.