Rumours of HS2 East being scrapped sparks concerns about impact on East Midlands

Concerns have been raised about the future of high-speed rail in the East Midlands and Nottinghamshire following reports the HS2 East project could be scrapped.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

National reports have suggested the eastern leg of the high-speed rail link could be dropped by ministers in a bid to save hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Government has not commented on the most recent reports, but one local Conservative MP described them as “just rumours”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The rail route would connect East Midlands Parkway with a new high-speed station in Birmingham before linking with other new infrastructure to London.

East Midlands Parkway railway station.East Midlands Parkway railway station.
East Midlands Parkway railway station.

The high-speed project has been decades in the making and was originally due to have connections between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Read More
Science education at Mansfield's The Brunts Academy set to be transformed with n...

Journey times between Nottinghamshire and Birmingham could be cut from 72 to 26 minutes under the plans, while London-Nottingham travel could halve to 51 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The document confirmed HS2 East itself would only run between Birmingham and East Midlands Parkway, with connections to Sheffield and Leeds dropped in favour of upgrades to the existing Midland Mainline.

A piece of work to determine the future of the 140km stretch between Leeds and Nottinghamshire was due to begin following the publication of the IRP.

‘It’s just rumours’

However, Coun Ben Bradley, Nottinghamshire Council leader and member for Mansfield North, as well as Conservative MP for Mansfield, said this has yet to start.

He described suggestions HS2 East could be scrapped as “speculation”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “It’s just rumours. I’ve spoken to ministers about this and I’ve never heard a minister – the people who decide – ever say that to me about HS2 East.

“What we are waiting for is for the Department for Transport to do an assessment on the options between East Midlands Parkway, Sheffield and Leeds. That process was said to start after the IRP in November 2021 and hasn’t started yet.

“My big question and push for ministers are to get on making those decisions. That’s what will decide what HS2 looks like coming through Nottinghamshire. I think it’s unlikely ministers would scrap it when they’ve promised that review and it hasn’t even started.”

‘Another broken promise’

Coun Matt Relf, Ashfield Council cabinet member for regeneration and member for Sutton Junction and Harlow Wood, fears scrapping HS2 East would “make an absolute mockery of levelling up”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “Any cancellation of the Eastern Leg of HS2 will have a devastating impact on the economy of places like Ashfield. This would represent yet another broken promise from the Government and one that is utterly unforgivable.

“It would make an absolute mockery of levelling up, introducing further inequality across the country. If the eastern leg of HS2 doesn’t go ahead, it represents a catastrophic failure in political leadership.”

The DfT has labelled the suggestions “speculation”.

A spokesman said the Government is committed to HS2’s western leg, between Manchester and London. He said: “Spades are already in the ground on the HS2 programme. It will better connect regions across the UK, provide a greener option of travel and is supporting tens of thousands of jobs. We remain committed to delivering the project from Euston to Manchester and continue to work in line with the Integrated Rail Plan.”