Please find below the latest Government announcement, Network North and the details:
OUR NEW PLAN TO DELIVER BETTER TRANSPORT FOR ALL
• If we want to change the country and build a better future for our children, that means we must
change the way we do politics: changing our approach to future transport infrastructure.
• For too long, we have been getting transport infrastructure wrong. Our great towns, cities and rural
areas are not achieving their true potential. Our new vision for transport will focus on the forms of
transport that matter most to people, that best drive growth and jobs, and truly levels up our country.
• HS2 has become a significant part of the problem: costs have more than doubled, it has been
repeatedly delayed, the pandemic has completely changed travel patterns, the economic case is far
weaker, and it continues to crowd out transport spending that would benefit the rest of the country.
• In short, the facts have changed – and we need to change our approach if we are to change the country.
• That is why today we are announcing that we will deliver HS2 between Birmingham and Euston in
central London as planned – but we will take every pound that would have been spent extending HS2
beyond and instead invest £36 billion in transport improvements that will benefit far more people, in
far more places, far more quickly – we are building NETWORK NORTH.
• Rather than just connecting Birmingham and Manchester, we will set aside £12 billion for links
between Liverpool-Manchester to ensure the delivery of NPR and then invest £36 billion in hundreds
of projects in towns, cities and rural areas across our whole country, and in roads, rail, and buses –
investment on a truly unprecedented scale that will drive economic growth and provide jobs:
o £TU.V billion for the North by connecting its major cities, new station at Bradford, new tram for Leeds,
new major roads, reopened train lines, all on top of the £TW billion set aside for Manchester-Liverpool
o £U.X billion for the Midlands through a Midlands Rail Hub connecting ?@ stations, major road
upgrades, guaranteed funding for the new East Mids Mayor, and reopened train lines and new stations
o £X.Y billion for the rest of the country through rail improvements in the South West, keeping the £F
bus fare until end December F@FH, unblocking road schemes, Ely Junction, and billions for potholes
o Greater connectivity for both Scotland and Wales, through improvements to the AK? between Gretna
and Stranraer, and £M billion to fund the electrification of the North Wales Main Line
• This change is transformative: every region of our country will have more transport investment from
Network North as a result of this decision – every penny committed to the Northern leg will go to the
North, every penny committed to the Midlands leg to the Midlands, and every penny saved from our
new arrangement for Euston station will be spread across every other region in the country.
We need to change our approach to transport infrastructure in this country – HS2 will not solve the
challenges this country faces in terms of needing better connectivity within cities, improved links between
cities, and local priorities such as better roads and more buses. As the Centre for Cities has said: ‘HS2
doesn’t do a great deal to tackle the underlying economic challenges that many northern cities face’.
• This country needs better connectivity WITHIN our towns, suburbs and cities. Only 38 per cent of
people in Leeds can reach the city centre in 30 minutes – compared to almost 90 per cent in similar-sized
Marseille. More than 4 million people across the North cannot reach their city centre in 30 minutes by public
transport. And people in London are able to access twice as many jobs within 60 minutes on public transport
than people in Newcastle, the West Midlands and Manchester. This is simply unacceptable. The National
Infrastructure Commission’s ‘strong view is that if we want to improve the performance of our cities, then
transport policy should prioritise intra-city improvements to enable greater capacity and commuting flows’.
• We also need improved links BETWEEN our towns and cities. The huge potential of the North is being
wasted. As many commentators have pointed out, a major reason for this is poor East-West connectivity
across the North. This cannot continue – we need to prioritise cutting journey times and increasing capacity
and frequency between Hull, York, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.
• And we need to improve everyday LOCAL journeys for people, such as more buses and better roads.
The most popular form of public transport are buses – which account for the majority of all journeys, and
are most used by people on lower incomes. Government investment in buses provides significant economic
return, yet we spend just a third of the amount per mile on buses as we do on trains. Investment in local
roads generates an even higher economic return, reducing congestion pinch points and filling potholes – but
we invest more per year in HS2 than we spend on the entire strategic road network.
HS2 is a significant part of this problem – depriving the North and the Midlands of its true potential
• Costs have more than doubled. Phase 1 from London to Birmingham was meant to cost £20 billion when
it was approved in 2012 – but latest estimates are up to £45 billion and likely to be even higher. That is
more than the entire original HS2 project estimate. Cost estimates of the whole project have now soared
to nearly £100 billion in 2023 prices, compared to £40 billion when approved – that’s a 75 per cent increase
in real terms over the past decade. It now costs nearly ten times the amount as equivalent schemes in France,
and seven times those in Germany.
• It has been repeatedly delayed. When it was approved in 2012, HS2 was meant to be operational a few
years from now – by 2026 – and completed in full by 2033. Now, the line to Manchester is forecast to be
open is in 2041 – that is in 18 years’ time. It was even delayed by seven years before construction even
begun. These delays have led the independent Infrastructure Projects Authority to rate the project as
• Covid has completely changed travel patterns – changing key assumptions underpinning HS2. Whilst
road travel has already recovered to pre-pandemic levels, rail journeys are still down by more than 20 per
cent. And while 53 per cent of the benefits of HS2 were intended to come from business travel, overall
business rail travel is currently less than half of 2019 levels.
• The cost benefit case has dwindled. Originally, HS2 was slated to return £2.30 in economic value for every
£1 we invested. Now, we are actually forecast to get less value out of it than we put in: the benefits could
fall to 80 pence for every £1 invested by the taxpayer overall. Furthermore, the government’s own business
case showed that almost half of individual benefits went to London and the South East. To put that in context,
a Department for Transport analysis of major bus routes found an average return of £4.20 for every £1
invested. Put simply, HS2 is not good value for money for the taxpayer.
• It continues to crowd out transport spending that would benefit the rest of the country. HS2 accounts
for over one-third of all our transport investments – while rail accounts for just 8 per cent of distances
travelled and 2 per cent of journeys. Our annual spend on HS2 is double what we spend on local transport
and five times what we spend on road maintenance. And when HS2 over-runs, all other areas of transporting
spending across the whole country – from buses to potholes – are impacted.
• Private sector investment never materialised. The original plan envisaged private businesses investing
alongside the taxpayer to help complete the project and earn a fair return. Not a single private investor has
believed it makes sense to invest in the project.
In short, the facts have changed – and we need to change our approach if we are to change the country
We will still deliver Phase 1 of HS2 – with a transformed Euston quarter, unlocking thousands of homes
• HS2 will be completed between Birmingham and London. Significant work on Phase 1 has already begun
so we will complete the Phase 1 line running from London Euston to central Birmingham and to Handsacre,
near Lichfield. This means passengers will be able to travel on HS2 trains through to Manchester, Liverpool
and Scotland, joining the West Coast Main Line for the rest of the journey. This will cut the journey times
from Birmingham to central London from around 80 minutes currently to 49. This will add extra capacity
to the West Coast Main Line, freeing up freight lines and allowing 250,000 passengers to travel every day
– enough to accommodate triple the current level of demand and supporting growth for decades to come.
And this will remove bottlenecks into and out of London, benefitting places like Northampton, Milton
Keynes and Watford. Journey times from Manchester to Euston will be cut by almost 30 minutes, taking it
from 2 hours 7 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.
o High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future (Jan 2012): ‘Even as a stand-alone project, there is
a strong case for proceeding with this initial line, as it provides the most effective solution to long-term
capacity constraints on the congested southern end of the WCML, and offers benefits in excess of costs’.
o HS2 Strategic Case (October 2013): ‘The construction of the new high-speed line between London
and Birmingham will allow the potential for improved services on today’s West Coast Main Line; not
only on the new high-speed line, but also on the classic rail network. Phase 1 will bring substantial
benefits in its own right, providing additional capacity and improved connectivity’.
• We will deliver a world-class station at London Euston. As we have always planned, the Phase 1 line
will finish its journey at Euston station. But we need a new approach to Euston in order to unlock growth
potential for London while also ensuring fairness to the taxpayer. The fact we are not doing Phase 2 also
means that we can take this opportunity to reshape our plans. But this requires doing things differently. We
will therefore change the leadership of the project and bring in private investment to build a new station
that will accommodate trains to Birmingham and beyond. This will release £6.5 billion to invest in projects
that people and communities really need, including thousands of new homes and see London pay for
the station it wants. The approach will be modelled on the success of Battersea Power Station and Nine
Elms, where the government secured £9 billion investment and delivered 1,800 homes.
• London will get a transformed Euston Quarter, unlocking thousands of homes. London’s biggest
challenge is housing and our plan will help address Sadiq Khan’s failure. Margaret Thatcher created a
Development Corporation to regenerate the London Docklands and Liverpool Docks: we will do the same
here. This Development Corporation at Euston will be able to cut through red tape and have special powers
to develop up to 10,000 homes. The nearby successful regeneration of Kings Cross gives a sense of what is
achievable, and this new Euston Quarter has the potential for five times as many homes as that.
• Communities on the proposed route for HS2 will benefit. We will immediately stop forced purchases of
land along the route, and we will be formally lifting the safeguarding requirements on properties along the
route as soon as practical. HS2 Phase 2 would have delivered fewer and slower services from London to at
least 20 destinations on the existing main lines – including Stockport, Wilmslow, Penrith and Oxenholme.
Blackpool would have lost its through trains to London. Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester and
Loughborough would have all seen at least some slower services to London had HS2 East opened.
We will invest £36 billion in NETWORK NORTH – hundreds of transport projects for the whole country
• We will invest £36 billion in transport projects for towns, cities and rural areas across the whole
country – not just Manchester and Birmingham. Every penny committed to the Northern leg of HS2 will
be reinvested in the North. Every penny committed to the Midlands leg will be reinvested in the Midlands.
And every penny saved from our new arrangement for Euston will go to the rest of the country. Connectivity
to Scotland and Wales will improve too. Every region will have more transport investment:
o Connecting the major cities of the North with more frequent trains, more capacity and faster journeys
o £12 billion to radically improve connections between Manchester and Liverpool
o £2 billion new station and railway improvements in Bradford, and a 30 min journey to Manchester
o £2.5 billion for a new West Yorkshire mass transit system, improving connections around Leeds
o Additional investment for transport for city regions, including Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester
o Brand new deals for smaller cities with £4.7 billion funding – areas like Blackpool and Harrogate
o Strategic road projects such as the M6 Junction 15 between Manchester and Birmingham, and the A1
o Dozens of local road schemes like the Shipley Bypass and Blyth Relief Road
o Reopening Beeching lines to reconnect areas like County Durham, Burton, Stocksbridge, Waverley
o Fully funding the Midlands Rail Hub with £1.75 billion, connecting 50 stations in the Midlands
o Upgrading links between Newark and Nottingham, halving journey times between Notts and Leeds
o Delivering 70 road schemes – 21 in the North, 10 in the Midlands, 39 in the South
o Investment in road pinch points, such as the A5 between Hinckley and Tamworth
o Supporting the incoming East Mids Mayor with a new transport devolution settlement of £1.5 billion
o West Midlands Combined Authority will receive over a £1 billion more for local transport funding
o Extending the national £2 bus fare through to end of December 2024
o Funding for hundreds of new local bus routes in each of the Midlands and the North
o Record investment to fix the blight of potholes on roads up and down the country
o Electrifying the North Wales Main Line to better connect Wales with London and the North West
o Upgrading the A75 to improve links between Scotland and the main port to Northern Ireland
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE NORTH
• £3 billion to connect the major cities of the North:
o First, we will bring Hull into Northern Powerhouse Rail, electrifying and improving the line speed
between Hull to Leeds and Hull to Sheffield. This will cut the journey between Leeds and Hull from
58 to 48 minutes; from Hull to Manchester from 107 to 84 minutes. This will enable 2 fast trains per
hour, double trains between Hull and Sheffield from 1 to 2 per hour, and also double capacity.
o Second, we will upgrade and electrify the line between Sheffield and Leeds. There is currently 1 fast
train per hour taking 40 minutes; we will deliver 3-4 trains per hour and look to include a new mainline
station at Rotherham, which would receive direct London services for the first time since the 1980s.
Capacity will increase by 300 per cent.
o Third, we will upgrade and electrify the Hope Valley line from Sheffield to Manchester. This will
cut the journey time from 51 to 42 minutes, allowing us to increase fast trains from 2 to 3 trains per
hour. Capacity will double.
• £12 billion to better connect Manchester to nearby Liverpool. This would allow the delivery of Northern
Powerhouse Rail as previously planned, including high-speed lines. But we will work with local leaders to
agree whether they wish to suggest other ways to achieve the objectives within the £12 billion envelope.
• £2 billion for a brand new rail station and better connections for Bradford. We are delivering a new
major station in Bradford, unlocking regeneration in the UK’s seventh-largest city. Building a new line to
Manchester via Huddersfield, almost halving the journey time, with double the frequency of today and up
to an extra 1,000 seats per hour. A journey from Bradford to York goes from 49 minutes today to 33 minutes.
• A fully-funded £2.5 billion West Yorkshire mass transit system. We will deliver the long-promised mass
transit network for West Yorkshire, ensuring Leeds will no longer be the largest city in Europe without light
rail or a metro. It will create a transformative network of up to 7 lines, eventually connecting Leeds with
nearby Huddersfield, Wakefield, Bradford and Halifax. We will ensure it comes into operation long before
HS2 would have reached the city, and help reduce congestion at Leeds station.
• New strategic roads across the North. We will provide funding for 3 major road schemes around
Manchester, including improving the M6 south of Manchester to Birmingham, and the Manchester North
West Quadrant, providing transport capacity to allow the Port of Salford to proceed. We will also provide
funding to dual a section of the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham.
• Reconnecting communities by reopening closed Beeching lines. We will restore the Don Valley Line
between Sheffield and Stocksbridge, as well as building new stations at Haxby on the York to Scarborough
line; Waverley on the Sheffield to Gainsborough line; and Ferryhill in County Durham. We will also upgrade
the Energy Coast Line between Carlisle, Workington and Barrow – improving capacity and journey times.
• Boosting funding for city regions. All six northern city regions will receive 75 per cent more funding than
currently to improve connectivity in their areas. This will benefit the millions who live in towns and suburbs
around Newcastle, Doncaster/Sheffield, Leeds, Teesside, Liverpool and Manchester, and could pay for
schemes such as extending the Manchester Metrolink to Heywood, Bolton, Wigan and Manchester Airport;
local roads in the Tees Valley; Sheffield tram extensions; and bus rapid transit corridors in Manchester,
Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield.
• New money everywhere outside the big city regions. We are creating a brand new £2.5 billion fund to
transform local transport in 14 rural counties, smaller cities and towns in every part of the North outside the
big city regions: everywhere from Cumbria to North Yorkshire, Cheshire to Lincolnshire, and Hull to
Lancashire. Projects could include more trams for Blackpool, more electric buses in Harrogate, and better
bus-rail interchange in Scarborough.
• Funding for smaller road schemes across the North. We are providing £460 million to ensure the delivery
of 20 road schemes, including the A582 South Ribble Distributor; Kendal Northern Access Route; Wigan
East-West Route; Shipley Eastern Bypass; and the Blyth Relief Road. We are also launching a £1 billion
roads fund in the North to fund new schemes such as the A1-A19 Hickleton bypass.
• More buses and more frequent routes. We will provide over £700 million for bus service improvement
plans in the North – this could involve projects like new bus services to Royal Blackburn Hospital; doubling
the service between Northwich and Chester; and more buses to industrial estates and business parks.
• Potholes funding. We are committing an additional £3.3 billion to resurface roads in the North.
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE MIDLANDS
• Delivering the Midlands Rail Hub in full. We will increase funding to £1.75 billion to improve journey
times, capacity and frequency of services across the East and West Midlands. The full Midlands Rail Hub
will benefit more than 50 stations with a catchment of over 7 million people – including Nottingham,
Leicester, Nuneaton, Tamworth, Worcester, Malvern, Hereford, Gloucester and Cheltenham. It will double
capacity between Leicester and Birmingham from 2 to 4 trains per hour, increasing trains between
Birmingham and Bristol from 2 to 3 per hour, and doubling trains to Bromsgrove to six per hour.
• Strategic road upgrades. We are committing to fix two major pinch points on the A5 between Hinckley
and Tamworth, a road serving over 1 million people. We are also providing funding for improvements to
the A50/500 corridor between Stoke and Derby, reducing congestion for the 90,000 drivers and ensuring
smoother journeys for drivers and freight around Magna Park, Rolls Royce, Toyota and local employers.
• Reconnecting communities by reopening closed Beeching lines. We will reopen the Ivanhoe Line
between Leicester and Burton, connecting nearly 2 million people across South Derbyshire and Northwest
Leicestershire. We will also reopen the Oswestry-Gobowen line, with a new stop at Park Hall; build a new
station in Meir on the existing Crewe-Derby line; and reopen the disused Barrow Hill and Stoke-Leek lines.
• Funding for smaller road schemes across the Midlands. We are providing over £250 million to ensure
the delivery of 10 road schemes, including the Shrewsbury North Western Relief Road; A4123 Birchley
Island; A509 Isham Bypass; and the A43 Northampton-Kettering. We are also launching a £640 million
Midlands Road Fund for new roads.
• Guaranteeing £1.5 billion funding for the new East Midlands City Region. We will empower a newly
elected Metro Mayor to create London-style public transport networks in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
This will be used to make life better for the 2.2 million people in the region, and could be used to extend the
Nottingham Tram system to serve Gedling and Clifton South; to connect Derby with East Midlands Parkway
with a Bus Rapid Transit System; and to reopen the Maid Marion Line to passenger rail services.
• City-style funding for 13 councils in the Midlands. For the first time, we will deliver long-term
settlements for councils from Lincolnshire to Rutland, Herefordshire to Telford and Wrekin, and West
Northamptonshire to Stoke-on-Trent. This £2.2 billion investment will transform transport by funding
schemes such as the refurbishment of stations in Longport and Kidsgrove, supporting smaller, more demanddriven buses in rural areas and funding investments into greener bus fleets.
• Increased funding for buses in the Midlands. Nearly £230 million investment will improve the frequency
and services in the Midlands, and could see new bus stops around Telford, park and ride upgrades in
Shropshire, and bus lanes in Herefordshire.
• Upgrading links between Newark and Nottingham. We will extend the existing London-LeicesterNottingham trains to Yorkshire and the North East, cut direct journey times from Nottingham to Leeds by
around an hour and enable the quadrupling of direct seats from Nottingham to Leeds. Alongside this, the
investment will enable up to 600 seats each hour between Leicester and Nottingham.
• West Midlands Combined Authority will receive over £1 billion more for local transport funding. This
includes £100 million to deal with ongoing metro and Arden Cross cost pressures, £250 million to accelerate
local transport projects over the next five years. In addition, a further over £700 million uplift to their
transport settlement allocation will more than double their sustainable city region transport settlement.
• Potholes. We are committing an extra £2.2 billion to alleviate the scourge of potholes in the Midlands.
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
• Keeping the £2 bus fare. The national £2 bus fare was due to expire at the end of October but we are
continuing with it until the end of 2024. Buses are our most used and loved form of public transport: to keep
costs down for families, we will extend the £2 bus fare this year to help bus users for over another year.
• Improving the accessibility of our train stations. We are spending £350 million to improve up to 100
stations that are not at all accessible for all passengers. Stations will be able to benefit from refitted lifts,
tactile surfaces, ramps and footbridges, new ticket gates and accessible waiting rooms and toilets.
• Rail improvements in the South West. We will reopen and reintroduce rail passenger services to
Wellington and Cullompton, reinstate five miles of track and a new station at Tavistock to connect it with
Plymouth, and put aside funding to make the Exeter to Plymouth line through Dawlish more resilient in the
face of extreme weather. We will also boost the West of England Combined Authority by £100 million to
support their plans to develop a new mass transit system to revolutionise travel in and around Bristol.
• Ensure the delivery of national road schemes. We will solve the perennial bottleneck on the corridor to
Dover by fixing the Brenley Corner on the A2. We are providing £610 million for the delivery of 39 schemes
in the East of England, South West and South East, including the A38 in Somerset, the A259 Bognor Regis
to Southampton and the A10 between Ely and Cambridge. And we will launch a further £1 billion fund for
new road schemes in these regions.
• Ely Junction. This transformative scheme will see an extra six freight trains per day to and from the Port
of Felixstowe – the equivalent of taking 98,000 lorry journeys off the road every year, including across the
Midlands and the North. This will also see a doubling of passenger services on the Ely-King’s Lynn and
Ipswich-Peterborough routes, helping commuters and leisure travellers alike.
• Potholes. We will spend an additional £2.8 billion resurfacing roads in the East, South West and South East.
• Delivering a new Euston Quarter. We will transform Euston in the heart of our capital by cutting through
red tape to develop up to 10,000 homes – a site with the potential for six times as many as the nearby success
story in Kings Cross. This directly addresses London’s biggest challenge.
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE UNION
• Improving journeys on the A75 between Gretna and Stranraer. Following recommendations in the
Union Connectivity Review, we will alleviate pinchpoints on the road, providing better links between the
Cairnryan ferry terminals serving Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland, connecting with the M6 and
Cumbria, and the A77 towards Glasgow.
• Funding the electrification of the North Wales Main Line. £1 billion investment will bring parts of North
Wales within an hour of Manchester. We will oversee more punctual, reliable journeys on the 126-mile
route between Crewe, Warrington, Chester, Llandudno and Holyhead, where ferry services run to Dublin.
LABOUR have no idea where they stand on HS2 – and no idea how they would improve transport in the UK
• Labour have flip-flopped on HS2 in recent weeks as they search for a position that suits them
politically – they just don’t know where they stand on it. Firstly Nick Thomas-Symonds said Labour
would build HS2 in full, including the eastern leg to Leeds; then shadow HMT minister Tulip Siddiq
admitted that she didn’t know what Labour’s position was; and finally Pat McFadden refused to commit to
even building the original HS2.
• Keir Starmer said he opposed HS2 on ‘cost and merit’. STARMER: ‘I oppose HS2 on cost and on merit.
It will not achieve its stated objectives’ (Hansard, 15 September 2015, Col 1006, link).
• Keir Starmer said the ‘only sensible plan is to abandon the plan altogether’. STARMER: ‘We have had
plans, amended plans and further amended plans for Euston, but the only sensible plan is to abandon the
project altogether’ (Hansard,15 September 2015, Col 1006, link).