Top York and North Yorkshire Tories have branded the Rishi Sunak diverting millions of pounds from HS2 into the region’s infrastructure as a “turning point” for Levelling Up.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced the axing of HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester, with the Euston to Birmingham section still going ahead.

Mr Sunak also announced the £36 billion ‘saved’ would fund better East-West train and projects such as more miles of the A1237 Northern Outer Ring Road being dualled under his Network North plans.

Phase Two of the project will see the section from Wetherby Road to the A19 upgraded.


The Prime Minister also announced investment in Phase One of the A1237 dualling project from Clifton Moor to the A64, reopening Haxby Station, improvements to bus services and road resurfacing.

Conservative candidate for York & North Yorkshire Mayor Keane Duncan said: “The North does not stop at Manchester, and neither should transport investment.

“For too long the focus has been on the big cities, with areas like ours overlooked and left to fall behind.

York Press: Keane Duncan with Julian Sturdy on the York Outer Ring Road

“Rishi is turning this around and changing the way we deliver transport infrastructure to ensure people across the entire North can benefit.

“HS2’s costs have soared and it’s suffered delay after delay - proving a distraction from the investment we really need in York & North Yorkshire.

“The decision to scrap it and divert millions of extra investment into more pressing improvements here represents a turning point for our region.”

MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy said: “We’ve become preoccupied with investing billions in a short rail link 75 miles away from York.

“And we’ve lost sight of the real infrastructure needs of the whole North, including the investment we so desperately require here such as dualling the Outer Ring Road.

“Labour’s priority is HS2 - a project that will have little benefit for us. My priority is the future prosperity of York and that’s what this extra investment will support.”

York Press: Luke Charters

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake told the Press: “There is never a wrong time to make the right decision. Rishi has always been of the mind that the East-West journeys across the North are the most in need of investment and the new Network North will do exactly that.”

However, Luke Charters, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for York Outer has joined other York Labour politicians in condemning Mr Sunak’s announcement.

He said: “What these announcements really show is that after 13 years of Tory Government, all York Outer has received in terms of infrastructure investment is empty promises.

“Promises such as A64 dualling and Haxby station are being reheated and served up again to cover up the government’s broken promises.

“In 13 years, the invisible Conservative MP for York Outer has failed to deliver the local rail and road infrastructure we desperately need.”