The government has derailed Northern HS2 and people aren’t happy
The fall of the ‘red wall’ in the North was a major factor in the Conservatives’ huge parliamentary majority, and a large part of that unexpected support was in reaction to promises relating to the creation of a Northern Powerhouse.
Here’s one of them.
Boris Johnson July 2019: "I want to be the PM who does with Northern Powerhouse Rail what we did with Crossrail in London, and today I am going to deliver on my commitment to that vision with a pledge to fund the Leeds to Manchester route"#BorisLied #PoliticsLive @LBC https://t.co/qNh42vbEre pic.twitter.com/phEO8RHeJm
— Incorrigible FCA (@ImIncorrigible) November 16, 2021
New and faster links would boost the region’s economy by billions, lower carbon emissions and open up opportunities in terms of employment and education.
On Thursday, the Transport Secretary crushed those hopes with this confirmation of rumours.
Grant Shapps has just confirmed that the Leeds to Manchester and East Midlands high speed rail routes have been scrapped.#LevellingDown @lbc #PoliticsLive #NorthernPowerhouseRail https://t.co/4y2mElQWEU
— Incorrigible FCA (@ImIncorrigible) November 18, 2021
This is how the PM tried to spin it.
“You’re talking total rubbish.”
Boris Johnson denies he is breaking his promise to “level up” the north of England after it was announced the government was scrapping its plans for a high-speed rail line between the East Midlands and Leeds. pic.twitter.com/YFQaND6CXa
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 18, 2021
I wasn’t. https://t.co/1WFwOY16ge
— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) November 18, 2021
Labour’s Lisa Nandy was frank.
This is breathtaking. He actually has the nerve to say ‘of course there are going to be people who want everything at once’. The Tories promised a Northern transport revolution SEVEN years ago. We’ve had sixty press releases since then and every single promise has been broken. https://t.co/0RxGOXmyzF
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) November 18, 2021
Other people weren’t at all surprised – or impressed.
Grant Shapps confirming that HS2 will not be going ahead in the north but there will be a brand new dirt track between Leeds and Manchester so there's that
— dave ❄️ 🥕 🧻 (@davemacladd) November 18, 2021
— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) November 18, 2021
Government adds northern rail links to its list of hand-washing instructions.
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) November 18, 2021
Looks good doesn't it. But then you remember they'd have been driving on the right and it'd have been chaos. https://t.co/7tpg3SmQdi
— THE SECRET TORY (@secrettory12) November 18, 2021
Government announce £96 billion HS2 replacement bus service to Leeds.
— Matt Owen (@MJowen174) November 18, 2021
Boris Johnson promising rail v Boris Johnson delivering rail pic.twitter.com/Ic74D912K1
— Toby Earle (@TobyonTV) November 18, 2021
Are Northerners feeling levelled up yet?
— Marina Purkiss (@MarinaPurkiss) November 18, 2021
Who'd have thought it? Turns out the Northern Powerhouse was a Cameron slogan without substance or strategy … just like Levelling Up is a Johnson slogan without strategy or substance. Posh rich privately educated Southerners conning and now screwing the North.
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) November 18, 2021
When are Northern Tory voters going to realise that a government who will spend £18 Billion on CrossRail because using the 11 tube lines in London is a bit of a faff, but they expect you to take a Megabus, don’t give a fuck about you?!
— Unnamed Insider (@Unnamedinsider) November 18, 2021
40 new hospitals? That was a lie.
Northern Powerhouse Rail? That was a lie.
HS2 to Leeds? That was a lie.
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) November 18, 2021
Boris Johnson personally blocking HS2 railway to Leeds: pic.twitter.com/8i5X02RE1U
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) November 18, 2021
"the largest single investment ever made in Britain's railways" is a novel way to describe deep cuts to the original HS2/HS3 plans
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) November 18, 2021
As so often happens, Gary Neville summed up the situation perfectly.
The scrapping of a major Northern Rail Route should be the final straw for this government with their “ Levelling Up “ pledge . This along with monumental corruption , the lack of planning for a post Brexit economy and their COVID ineptness should be enough to bring them down!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) November 18, 2021
If he ever gets tired of punditry, he could probably pick up a parliamentary constituency in the North.