Boris Johnson Affirms Commitment To Eastern Leg Of HS2

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Boris Johnson Affirms Commitment To Eastern Leg Of HS2

Boris Johnson Affirms Commitment To Eastern Leg Of HS2

After months of speculation over whether the eastern leg of the HS2 project would go ahead as planned, Boris Johnson confirmed that the government remains committed to completing this stretch of the large railway project.

The Yorkshire Post reported that, when questioned in the House of Commons by Harrogate and Knaresborough Tory MP Andrew Jones, Mr Johnson stressed that his government understands the power that infrastructure projects such as HS2 have to deliver jobs.

“That’s why we’re getting on with both the eastern leg of HS2 and with Northern Powerhouse Rail, and what I’ve asked the National Infrastructure Commission and Network Rail to look at is how those two projects can best be integrated to boost the economy of the whole of the north of the country,” the prime minister stated.

Due to the way in which the bills covering HS2 have been split up, there were concerns that the eastern leg, which will run between Birmingham and Leeds, could be scrapped, with only the western leg linking Manchester and Crewe going ahead.

Transport minister Grant Shapps is championing HS2 and is pushing for the project to be fast-tracked as part of the government’s efforts to “build back better” after the pandemic.

The newspaper noted that Mr Shapps was due to speak at a virtual meeting of the Northern Transport Acceleration Council in December, while he is also due to meet with MPs from the north of the country before Christmas to discuss how Westminster can push forward with policies that benefit the northern powerhouse.

Earlier in December, former transport secretary Lord Adonis told the House of Lords that failing to complete the eastern leg of HS2 would see half the country left behind.

The BBC reported on his comments in a House of Lords debate, during which Lord Adonis described the eastern leg of HS2 as “fundamental” to the development of the north of the country.

He stated: “It is fundamental to the future of this country that we build both HS2 east and west – if we’re going to be one nation in the future we need a one-nation transport and infrastructure system.”

As it currently stands, the eastern leg of the new railway line is part of Stage 2 and is due to be completed between 2035 and 2040. Also part of Stage 2 is the line that will connect Crewe to both Manchester and Wigan.

The first phase of HS2, which is already under construction, will see ten new tunnels created, as well as the construction of more than 500 bridging structures, and more than 50 viaducts measuring a total length of nine miles.

No doubt there will be many more tunnels, bridges and viaducts constructed as part of Stage 2 of the project.

According to HS2 East, more than 100 towns and cities in this part of the country will benefit from access to high-speed rail connections once the project is completed, with this stretch of railway serving some 20 per cent of the country’s population.

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