February 11, 2020
When we came to office we promised to unite and level up the whole United Kingdom, spreading opportunity across the country. High speed rail and local services are key parts of this commitment.
As such, after careful consideration, the Prime Minister has announced that HS2 will proceed, boosting capacity and connectivity for the UK while cutting journey times between our biggest cities.
However, the mismanagement of the HS2 project must end. That's why we're instilling discipline and financial order onto the project. That includes more updates to Parliament about the progress made, and creating a new HS2 Minister, accountable to Parliament, to improve oversight.
We know that people in the North have been calling not just for HS2, but for better transport links and in particular for Northern Powerhouse Rail. That’s why, to make sure passengers in the North see the benefits of both projects more quickly, we will develop a plan for rail across the North to bring better rail links to the region sooner and more cost efficiently than would otherwise have happened.
And investment in local services is just as important to level up infrastructure. That is why we have also announced a £5 billion Local Transport Package of new funding to transform buses, bikes and roads, levelling up all parts of the country.
We will unite and level up the whole country just as we promised – we are at the start of a decade of renewal, and this new One Nation Government will deliver for the people as the People’s Government.
We are giving High Speed Rail the green signal – we are going to get this done. Investing in infrastructure was part of our Conservative Manifesto, and we will deliver. The review recently conducted by Douglas Oakervee leaves no doubt of the clinching case for high speed rail; it will:
And, we are tackling the challenges the project faces. We are taking decisive action to restore discipline to the programme. We will be appointing a Minister whose full-time job will be to oversee the project and there will be changes to the way HS2 Ltd is managed. And we will be interrogating the current costs to identify where savings can be made on Phase 1, without the costs and delays associated with a detailed redesign.
But HS2 is not the only area of our rail activity. We will also present an integrated plan for rail in the North. Informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission it will, in line with the findings of the Oakervee review, look at how we can best design and integrate rail investments across the north including Northern Powerhouse Rail between Leeds and Manchester.
And we will, working closely with Northern leaders, explore options for creating a new delivery vehicle for Northern Powerhouse Rail. We will start treating HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and other local rail improvements as part of one integrated masterplan, High Speed North.
We are not just enhancing rail services. We have also announced a £5 billion package of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London, levelling up connectivity across the whole country.
We are investing £5 billion to level up local transport connections throughout the country, making every day journeys easier, greener and more convenient. This £5 billion of new funding is designed to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London over the next five years.
As part of this plan we are making bus journeys easier, greener and more convenient. Our investment priorities for buses will include:
We are also boosting investment in cycling. This will include over 250 miles of new, high-quality separated cycle routes and safe junctions in towns and cities across England, and dozens of new ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes to transform town centres across the country and make them safer to get around.
Of all the new investments, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
"We want everyone across this country to have the transport services they need to improve their lives and opportunities – to do that, we must invest in the here and now.
"Through today’s buses funding we’ll be bringing about a transformation in bus services to every community, speeding up journeys and capping fares to make high-quality services the norm.
"Our long-term commitment to cycling could not be clearer, with money for new routes, more cyclist support and new ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes, set to make our streets the safest they have been for cyclists."
We believe in the United Kingdom, and we will continue to invest in it. And, that way, we will unleash the full potential of this great country.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”