Misery for thousands of commuters as Boris Johnson SCRAPS key part of HS2 route with full details today


THOUSANDS of Northern commuters face dismay today as Boris Johnson prepares to scrap a key part of the HS2 route.

The eastern leg of the high speed line connecting Leeds with Birmingham is expected to be junked as part of a major railway shakeup.

Boris Johnson was snapped running for a train this morning
The HS2 project has shattered its budget

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will soften the blow with a £96billion rail improvement package to upgrade services in the North.

HS2 has shattered its budget and set to stretch into the hundreds of billions while also being behind schedule.

The ultra-fast trains were originally meant to connect London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds to help bring opportunity and wealth to left-behind areas.

Mr Shapps is today expected to confirm high speed lines between Crewe and Manchester and Birmingham to Nottingham, rather than all the way to Leeds.

There will be a “Northern Powerhouse Rail line” between Leeds and Manchester – half of which will be high speed and half upgrades to existing routes.

Mr Johnson is travelling to Yorkshire this morning to launch the plans – and was snapped running for a train.

Writing in the Yorkshire Post, the PM said pressing ahead with the old plans to connect Nottingham to Leeds would take an age to build.

He wrote: “HS2 will come to Sheffield, meaning a trip to or from London will take just one hour 27 minutes – precisely the same as under the old HS2 plans.

“We’ll look at how to get HS2 to Leeds too, with a new study on the best way to make it happen.

“But high-speed rail is grindingly slow to build. Under the original blueprint, first drawn up more than a decade ago, Yorkshire would have not have seen the benefits of our investment until at least the 2040s.

“Levelling up can’t wait that long.”

Ministers will electrify the Midland Main Line from London St Pancras to Sheffield, the Transpennine Main line and upgrade the East Coast Main Line, according to Politico.

But Labour’s shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said Mr Johnson had “betrayed” northern passengers.

He told Times Radio: “They are trying to present it almost in a way that the people in the North and the Midlands ought to be grateful that at least they’re getting crumbs off the table.

“And that’s just not good enough. We want to hold the government to account for the promises that they made because it goes beyond actually just transport investment.”