Glaring error in Government plans for HS2 savings
Rishi Sunak promised in his Conservative Party Conference speech yesterday to give billions back to the regions following his decision to scrap the HS2 line between Birmingham and Manchester.
However, a delve into the detail of where the cash will go revealed a lack of local knowledge by the Government, which said that the new East Midlands Combined Authority, set to come into being next year, could use the money to pay for a tram extension that has already been open for eight years.
In a document that set out plans for the region, the document said: “£1.5 billion for East Midlands City Region Mayor: Transforming transport for 2.2 million people living in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. This is an average of almost £1,000 for everyone in the two counties. The new Combined Authority could use the funding to extend the Nottingham Tram system to serve Gedling and Clifton South and connect Derby to East Midlands Parkway with a Bus Rapid Transit System.”
However, the Clifton South line was opened in 2015, along with the rest of NET Phase 2.
Elsewhere, the Government said that it was providing cash to reopen Beeching Line stations, including the Ivanhoe Line between Leicester and Burton, connecting 250,000 people across South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire, with new stations en route, along with funding for the Barrow Hill Line between Chesterfield and Sheffield Victoria, with a new station at Staveley in Derbyshire.
It is also funding a stretch of road between Hinckley and Tamworth, linking the M1 and M6, that serves more than one million people. Funding will also be provided for improvements to the A50/500 corridor between Stoke and Derby, cutting congestion for the 90,000 drivers who use the road each day and ensuring smoother journeys for drivers and freight around Rolls Royce, Toyota, Magna Park, and other major local employers.
Meanwhile, trains running between Leicester and Birmingham will be increased from two to four an hour.