Government announce cuts to existing services along with HS2 Phase 2b route

Today (15th November 2016 at 7am), Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the route for what has become known as ‘Phase 2b’ of HS2, from Crewe to Manchester, and from Lichfield via the East Midlands to Leeds.

Along with this announcement, the Government are keen to say the project will create jobs, and the number of trains could increase, but in this they have finally confirmed plans to cut the number of current inter-city trains, severely disadvantaging many places which are currently through stops on the routes to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

In their press release, Government have confirmed their intention to reduce current inter-city services: from London to Birmingham from 3 to 2, from London to Manchester from 3 to 2 and from London to Leeds from 3 to 1.

This announcement comes just week after the ITV Tonight programme conducted a survey which found only 15% of people feel that HS2 is worth the official £56bn price tag and only 11% people thought the high speed rail link would benefit the majority of commuters.

Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 Campaign Manager responded:

“Government are simply trying to con the public that HS2 is needed for capacity reasons, to create jobs and rebalance the economy. HS2 delivers capacity where it is needed least, but is being justified with grossly inflated passenger forecast, as happened with HS1 which is only carrying a third of the projected passengers, which the National Audit Office say will cost the taxpayer an extra £10bn.On top of that, the Government have finally come clean in admitting ‘freeing up capacity’ means for many cities ‘losing the trains you already have’, as the HS2 business case demands £8.3bn worth of cuts to existing services.”

“The idea that a £56bn project would create just 25,000 jobs in construction at a cost of over £2m per job is abysmal value for money, and all international evidence shows any economic benefit wouldn’t be felt in the Midlands or North, but in London.”

“If the HS2 figures are as far out as the forecasts for HS1, then they’ll need a £500 million per year subsidy, for something that will only benefit the richest in society.”

“HS2 is being built for one reason only, because the multinationals who have been lobbying for this white elephant for ten years see HS2 as an opportunity to run their own gravy train”

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said

“The government is proposing spending £56 billion or more on a railway line most people don’t want and that won’t benefit the economies of the Midlands and the North.

“What’s more huge parts of the earlier proposals have already been dropped. Plans to connect HS2 to Heathrow and to HS1 have long since been dropped, meaning that any hopes of getting from Manchester or Leeds to the Continent by train are impossible. There have been numerous redesigns of Euston, adding to the uncertainty.

“Meanwhile projects like the electrification of the Great Western Line have been delayed.”

She added

“Anywhere where there are gaps in the line is continued uncertainty for people affected. Phase 2 was announced in early 2013, and these people have been living in limbo for nearly four years.”

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11 comments to “Government announce cuts to existing services along with HS2 Phase 2b route”
  1. This government has done nothing but take, take, take from my generation and now they want to ruin the rural place that I chose to live in with a high speed train that will not benefit anyone in the area. I am disgusted, how would the politicians feel if they had to live near this. I work in education which needs a complete overhaul, don’t even get me started on Michael Gove and what abt the NHS, this government needs to wake up & think abt the working man, not the wealthy man.

  2. So many more jobs could be created in Leeds and other areas in Yorkshire if the aging and under capacity rail networks from the surrounding areas were updated and improved. Instead we are stuck with a regular service that is late, often cancelled ALWAYS overcrowded, and often unable to take most passengers waiting on the platforms.

    If their predictions about people volumes on the proposed HS2 are to be correct then these local services are going to come under even more strain.

    What is the point of HS2 if the local rail links cannot move people in and out of the city?

    I have no issue with a two hour train to London. I sit down, open my laptop and get some work done. I cannot do that on the packed train that takes 14 minutes to cover a distance of 5.7miles! What a joke.

    What an absolute disgrace this HS2 project is.

  3. If Leeds to London Trains are reduced from 3 to 1, what will that mean for Doncaster and the Humberside towns that rely on it for connections?
    Clearly a worse service to Leeds or Peterborough.

  4. Beggars belief that a sentient adult, can support such an expensive joke.

    56 billion pounds that we do not have, that must be borrowed, just so a few people can go from London to Birmingham a few minutes quicker…..

    This is the age of the wired world, a fraction of that 56 Billion would give the entire UK , super fast broadband, that would unleash the creative instincts of all the UK…..and something May and her team could be proud of.

    Instead she supports a project that was created by the EU, as a make work scheme, will pile yet more debt upon us and be a sure fire guaranteed sink hole of yet more billions we do not have.

    Clearly she is determined to make Corbyn a serious alternative !!!!!!!

    • Sean , obviously , you have not looked at the journey-time reduction statistics on a Single journey off 2016 times.
      From London to : Leeds 50 mins ; Manchester 1hr ;
      Sheffield 46 mins ; Birmingham 33 min.
      From Birmingham to : Leeds 1hr ; York 1hr 7mins ;
      Newcastle 1hr 7mins ; Manchester Airport 1hr 12mins.

      Not ” For a Few ” – 70 – 75% will be non-business
      and leisure passengers.

      Not created in any way by the EU , nor a wicked European plan which Brexit supporters might like to think it is.

  5. Whilst totally opposed to HS2 for all the obvious reasons – £1500 of every tax payers money being spent, whilst the NHS is starved and effective Cancer treatments (including mine) are deemed “unaffordable”; Local transport getting slower and slower; blight across the proposed route(s); and the general principle that it will further centralise the Economy on London – I’m not sure why its deemed the lack of a direct to Heathrow is a bad thing for the North. We know that “Manchester Airport” HS2 station will actually be 2 miles from the Terminal area, and linked by the appallingly unreliable and uncomfortable Metrolink, so a direct link to Heathrow would have made it more attractive for those in the Midlands to go there, rather than their prefered option (admittedly due to perceived better Motorway links) than to Manchester. It is already estimated MAN loses 4.5 million pax a year to London through cheaper fares; BA’s corporate stranglehold and Travel Agents “cajoling” customers not to fly direct.

    PS. in the security calculation below, do I put the answer my Arithmatic teacher would have taught me, or the answer HS2 Ltd s accountants would have arrived at? (lol)

  6. If this appalling waste of my and your money goes ahead I would happily contribute to a plaque naming all those ministers who overrode the wishes of the vast majority

    And no I don’t live anywhere near the route15

  7. HS2 is yet another example of Government not listening. Cutting journey times by30-40 minutes is not a priority for the majority of rail travellers, when the alternative is using the car or plane which take much longer. The investment priority must be to improve the underfunded local train services which are already broken and need fixing all over the UK. These are used everyday millions of commuters and are vital to reduce congestion in all our cities – cutting these local services would be a national and economic disaster!!

  8. I believe HS2 is for people working in London to have an affordable house within travelling time to their job. Obviously this will be for the wealthy who want a nice place to live! My area, N. Lincs., will probably be starved of good transport.

  9. People in Yorkshire, prepare for HS2’s laughingly so-called “consultations”. They are nothing of the sort, they will consist of HS2 Ltd. “telling” you what is going to happen, and it is extremely unlikely that they will pay any attention to your concerns. Why should they, they have the whip hand, and so the farce/tragedy continues, unless you are prepared to stand up in numbers and tell Grayling & May that enough is enough.
    They do not believe in democracy,they know better. So, it’s up to you.

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