Another nail in the coffin of high-speed rail to the North East

Another nail appeared to have been driven into the coffin of plans for a high-speed rail link to the North East (HS2b) today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

He told the Financial Times that there could be a major rethink of the high-speed rail eastern leg from Birmingham to Leeds, from where train would continue on conventional track to York, Darlington and Newcastle.

‘We want to make sure we get trains to Leeds in a way that actually benefits people on the network and not blindly follow some plan invented 15 to 20 years ago which no longer benefits people,’ Shapps said in an interview with the FT.

He was non-committal about Northern Powerhouse Rail, linking Manchester and Leeds, and Midland Rail Hub: ‘They’ve been invented, they hadn’t been when HS2 was first designed.  We need to work these things together. Are we doing things in the best way and in the right order?”

This website has been warning for months that HS2b to Leeds was in serious doubt, after the Infrastructure and Projects Authority described it as ‘unachievable’.