(Sharecast News) – The troubled HS2 rail project has been scrapped, Rishi Sunak confirmed on Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation about its future.
Addressing the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the prime minister used his keynote speech to announce his decision to scrap phase 2, the Birmingham to Manchester leg.

He told delegates that “the facts have changed, and the right thing to do when the facts change is the have the courage to change direction.

“So I am ending this long-running saga. I am cancelling the rest of the HS2 project.”

Instead, he said, £36bn will now be invested in transport projects across the country, including establishing a new Network North. The money will be spent upgrading trainlines, tram projects and on roads.

HS2 was designed to link London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. But costs and delays have mounted, and the Leeds leg has already been scrapped. There were also concerns about environmental impact.

But many in the Midlands and North – including Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of West Midlands – welcomed better transport links and have long backed the project.

Phase 1, the London to Birmingham leg, is already under construction, and so will not be scrapped, Sunak confirmed. He also said that the decision to terminate at Old Oak Common, in the west London suburbs, had been abandoned in favour of returning to the original plan, of all trains going direct to Euston.

However, HS2 management will lose control of the Euston project. “There must be some accountability for the mistakes made and the mismanagement of this project,” said Sunak.

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