Work at the Old Oak Common station construction site for the HS2 high-speed project in northwest London on September 29
The British head of government announced unpopular decisions before the Conservative party conference. Now it could mark the end of plans for a high-speed line to the north of England.
KJust before an important party conference and a year before the next general election, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is faced with the question of how quickly the United Kingdom should travel into the future. He gave an initial answer a few days ago: He extended the deadlines for switching to pollution-free cars, dampened his ambition in the fight against climate change and thus spoke from the hearts of many of his conservative voters. A second answer is still missing. It will likely be more expensive and certainly more controversial. The government must decide whether to cancel or continue its largest and most lengthy infrastructure construction project. It bears the abbreviation HS2 and is intended to lead rail transport in Great Britain into a new era.
The first plans for a high-speed rail line from London to the northern English industrial and service region around Manchester were drawn up by the Labor governments of Toni Blair and Gordon Brown more than a decade ago. A first section – London-Birmingham – is now under construction; The price for the project has more than tripled from the initial equivalent of around 30 billion euros, not including recent inflationary effects. In previous years, conservative prime ministers tried to curb rising costs by foregoing important branches and additions. They canceled a connection to the first high-speed line, which runs from London to the Channel Tunnel. In addition, an important branch of the line from Birmingham to Leeds and York was cut.
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