HS2 Birmingham to Manchester leg scrapped!

At the Tory Party conference, Rishi Sunak announced the cancellation of the HS2 rail link’s Birmingham to Manchester segment. He described HS2 as the “ultimate example of the old consensus” and pointed out that the economic justification for the project had significantly diminished. Sunak expressed, “I say to those who backed the project in the first place, the facts have changed and the right thing to do when the facts change is to have the courage to change direction.” He declared an end to the prolonged HS2 debate and promised to redirect its £36 billion budget towards hundreds of new transport projects across the north, the Midlands, and the entire country.[1]https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/10/04/tory-conference-live-rishi-sunak-speech-mordaunt-latest/[2]https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-party-conference-sunak-braverman-hs2-b2423545.html

Originally, HS2 was conceived as a full high-speed line spanning nearly 345 miles. However, over time, parts of the project were either curtailed or axed, which led to a significant reduction in its track length. Financially, the initial budget for HS2 was vastly underestimated, and as planning and construction progressed, costs escalated alarmingly. The eastern leg of the project was axed previously, amplifying concerns about the overall viability and direction of HS2. These developments contributed to the decision to cancel the remaining portions of the project.

The UK has 6 times the population of the Czech Republic[3]https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/czech-republic-population/[4]https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/uk-population/ and 1.6 times the GDP per capita. [5]https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=CZ[6]https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=GB. Furthermore, the geographical shape of the UK, like Japan, makes it more suitable for high-speed rail than the Czech Republic.