Louise Haigh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he is scrapping the second leg of HS2, said:
“This staggering Tory fiasco has seen costs soar, and the North and Midlands are left to pay the price.
“Only after 13 years of dismal failure could the Conservatives make the centrepiece of their conference a re-announcement of promises the Conservatives have made before.
“Is there anything more emblematic of 13 years of dismal failure by this broken government than their flagship levelling-up project that fails to even reach the north?
“What started as a modern infrastructure plan left by the last Labour government has, after 13 years of incompetence, waste, and broken promises become a colossal symbol of Conservative failure.”
Almost all of Sunak’s proposals had already been part of government plans, so cannot be described as new investments, nor reinvestments:
- Extend NPR to Hull:
- Hull first proposed a fast-track electrification of the 70 miles (112km) of track in 2013. The government agreed that work should “focus on electrification and line speed improvements to improve journey times from Hull to Leeds” in 2021.
- Electrification of Hope Valley line – Integrated Rail Plan:
- The government previously stated: “any further future improvements to Manchester–Sheffield would best be based on an upgrade and electrification of the existing Hope Valley Line”.
- Don Valley line:
- Announced in 2020:
- £50,000 was thrown at the consultation and nothing changed.
- Improved connectivity between Bradford and Manchester:
- Promised to deliver as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail in three consecutive manifestos.
- Sunak promised to upgrade the A1, A2, A5, M6 and A75, yet almost all of these projects were in the future pipeline of schemes delayed only six months ago by him for up to five years until after 2030:
- A1 Doncaster to Darrington
- A2 Brenley Corner, A2 Dover Access
- A5 Hinckley to Tamworth
- M6 Junctions 19 to 21a Knutsford to Croft extra capacity, M6 junction 22, M6 junction 15 Potteries southern access
- Shipley bypass:
- This was first touted back in 2018:
- £300,000 was spent on consultations and feasibility studies.
- Blyth relief:
- This was also first touted in 2018:
- Construction was supposed to start in 2020 and didn’t.