Boris Johnson – 2021 Comments on Scrapping HS2 East Link

The comments made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, on 18 November 2021.

We’re trebling capacity between Liverpool and Manchester. And, of course, there are going to be people who, you know, always want everything at once. And there are lots of people who’ll say, ‘look, what we should do is carve huge new railways through virgin territory, smashing through unspoilt countryside and villages, and do it all at once’.

The problem with that is those extra high-speed lines take decades and they don’t deliver the commuter benefits that I’m talking about. We will eventually do them.

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This is the biggest investment in rail, at least for 100 years, and it’s a fantastic thing. What it does is it delivers the types of commuter service that people have been expecting, people have got entitled to, in the south-east of the country. And it will deliver that. And it will deliver better services for places that weren’t on the original plan. Huddersfield, Wakefield, Leicester – all sorts of places will benefit from what we’re doing in ways that hadn’t been foreseen. In virtually every case you will find that journey times are shorter and capacity is going up. This is a much, much better plan.