News Story

NEWS STORY : Rishi Sunak Suggests UK Can No Longer Afford HS2


Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, has refused to rule out rumours that the proposed section of HS2 to Manchester is to be scrapped, raising fears about the economic situation in the UK where infrastructure projects need to be cancelled. The Prime Minister has faced substantial opposition today to his suggestion that the project should be delayed including from Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester as well as Boris Johnson and David Cameron, two former Prime Ministers. Burnham criticised the decision, saying “you really should not take this decision without listening to the voice of people here” and adding ““scrapping HS2 rips the heart out of Northern Powerhouse Rail. Basically it would leave the north of England with Victorian infrastructure probably for the rest of this century.”

Allan Cook, a former chair of HS2, questioned the decision to cut spending on the north of the country, saying “why in the north have do we have to make a compromise?”. George Osborne, the former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Michael Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister, also criticised the Prime Minister’s decision to consider scrapping the Manchester section.

Rishi Sunak said that an announcement on the project would be made later this week. The current cost of the HS2 project is expected to be between £72 billion and £98 billion, but there are suggestions that the cost might increase to over £100 billion due to delays and changes to the plans. If completed in full, the project would be expected to fully open in the 2040s.


Andrew Adonis – 2023 Comments on HS2 Delays