Transport group pleads to be heard after fresh reports of cutbacks in troubled HS2 project

An impression of how HS2 might look
An impression of how HS2 might look
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A Northern transport body has called for a place on the HS2 Board amid fresh reports the troubled rail project could be scaled back.

Transport for the North is a unique partnership, bringing together the North’s 20 local and combined authorities and northern business leaders with Central Government.

The group was responding after weekend reports that HS2 might not branch off into Yorkshire at all.

But it could still link up with Crewe, Manchester and Wigan, it was reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a review into the viability and benefits of the whole scheme as costs escalate.

TfN said: "It would be a huge missed opportunity if the current ambition for HS2 and the benefits it could deliver for the North East of England are scaled back; and such a decision would be seen as out of touch with what northern leaders would expect as part of a truly 21st century pan-northern rail network.

“In Transport for the North’s submission to the Oakervee Review we have asked that in any review of governance structures of HS2 that TfN is included on the HS2 Board so that the North has a direct say over future development and construction of the northern legs.

"This would better prevent decisions being taken that are not in the interests of the North of England.

“Together, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will make significant direct contributions to the connectivity and capacity of the UK, and they will provide new high speed services across and from the North that better meet customer expectations, as well as support future economic growth for decades to come.”