Boris Johnson called HS2’s broken promises “total nonsense.”

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Boris Johnson called HS2’s broken promises “total nonsense.”

Boris Johnson pledged yesterday that the largest rail investment since the Victorians will transform services and speed journeys up to ten years earlier than planned.

He said the £96 billion plan for the North would “ignite economies” and “spread opportunity across the UK,” dismissing critics’ claims of broken promises as “total nonsense.”

The scrapping of the HS2 high-speed rail line’s Leeds project will also save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

The Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will provide a much-needed overhaul of inter-city links across the North and Midlands.

“Our plan will deliver a network that is fit for passengers today and for future generations, a network that works for every community and every passenger, right across the United Kingdom,” he said.

Critics, however, claim that the plan, which promises to double capacity between Manchester and Leeds and triple capacity between Manchester and Liverpool, falls short of expectations.

“This was the first test of ‘levelling up,’ and the Government completely failed and let everyone in the North down,” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said.

The HS2 extension from the East Midlands to Leeds will be scrapped by the IRP, with HS2 trains running on existing lines instead.

Between Leeds and Manchester, the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) route will be a mix of new track and upgraded existing infrastructure.

The Midland Main Line and TransPennine route will also be fully electrified, and the East Coast Main Line will be upgraded.

“Of course, there are going to be people who always want everything at once,” the Prime Minister said yesterday at a Network Rail logistics hub near Selby, North Yorkshire.

“And there will be many who will say, ‘Look, what we should do is carve huge new railways through virgin territory, smashing through unspoiled countryside and villages, and do it all at once.’

“The problem is that those extra high-speed lines take decades to build and don’t provide the commuter benefits I’m talking about. We’ll do them eventually.”

Mr Shapps claimed that the 110 miles of new high-speed line would cut journey times in half, and that HS2 would not have reached the region until the 2040s under the original plans.

He did say, however, that the revised plan would bring passenger benefits “at least a decade” ahead of schedule.

“This plan will bring,” Mr Shapps continued.

“News from the Brinkwire.”

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