Axing HS2’s Manchester leg could fund pothole repairs, hints Chancellor Rishi Sunak


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, indicated yesterday that scrapping the Manchester leg of the HS2 rail line could free up funds to fix potholes. Despite accusations of betraying northerners, the Prime Minister stood by the decision, emphasizing the importance of value for money and improving car travel. Sunak stressed the importance of maintaining well-functioning roads and bus services during a series of BBC radio interviews. Repairing pothole-riddled roads was a major issue in this year's local elections.

The priority: roads and potholes

Sunak underlined that the journeys most frequently used by people, including commuting to work and taking children to school, are typically done by car. He asserted, "Making sure that our roads have well-maintained potholes and that our bus services are running well, that's all important."

Budget woes and uncertainty

HS2, which has faced significant budget overruns, saw its northeastern leg to Leeds abandoned last year as a cost-cutting measure. The Chancellor refused to speculate on whether the line would extend to Manchester. The project's uncertain future prompted major unions and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) leader to call for an emergency summit to address the turmoil surrounding HS2.

Awkward timing

Mr. Sunak faces a particularly difficult situation as he heads to Manchester for the upcoming Conservative party conference. When asked about his mode of transportation, Sunak stated that he would likely be driving due to train strikes that have been scheduled, expressing his disappointment with the situation.