Today the Prime Minister has made the huge commitment to invest in major transport improvements across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. £36bn freed up from the cancellation of Phase 2 of HS2 will now be invested in major transport upgrades across the Midlands and the North to help level up opportunities.
This follows huge efforts from North Staffordshire MPs who have repeatedly called for investment in better local and regional transport. It also comes alongside serious questions raised about the impact which Phase 2 would have had on rail services to stations north of Birmingham, like at Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Crewe. A commitment has been made to deliver high speed rail services to Stoke-on-Trent alongside investing in major road and rail improvements for North Staffordshire.
Jack Brereton MP, Stoke-on-Trent South commenting said:
It is fantastic that the Prime Minister has listened to our calls for Phase 2 of HS2 to be cancelled and money reinvested in local and regional transport across North Staffordshire which would deliver far greater benefits and dramatically improve people’s lives. This will mean we can still deliver high speed rail services to Stoke-on-Trent but will ensure projects that will transform opportunities locally like reopening Meir Station, upgrading Junction 15 of the M6 and upgrading the A500/A50 corridor will be prioritised. It also means the huge impact on communities and property owners across Staffordshire from construction will be avoided.
Karen Bradley MP, Staffordshire Moorlands stated:
I am absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister has given the go ahead to the reopening of the Leek to Stoke line. This is great news for the whole Moorlands. I was honoured to chair the board that put the bid in and am thrilled that we have been successful.
Jo Gideon MP, Stoke-on-Trent Central added:
I am delighted that the money freed up from the cancellation of the Birmingham to Manchester phase of HS2 has been repurposed to specifically benefit areas like Stoke-on-Trent. After the hard work of your 3 Stoke-on-Trent MPs working with Karen Bradley to prove the feasibility of restoring the Stoke-Leek Line. This is a great result that will make a real long-term difference to communities around the city and Staffordshire Moorlands.
Jonathan Gullis MP, Stoke-on-Trent North added:
The cost of HS2 has spiralled out of control rapidly with costs now three times higher than estimated in 2009.That’s why the Prime Minister is right prioritise improving rail, road and bus networks in the North and Midlands with £36 billion of targeted investment into hundreds of infrastructure projects across the region.
The re-opening of the Stoke to Leek line, over £2.2 billion for a Midlands Integrated Transport Settlement, upgrading local road networks like junction 15 of the M6 and the Midlands road resurfacing fund to more support for the Bus Service Improvement Plan will make a real difference and allow cities like Stoke-on-Trent to be better connected to towns and cities in the North and Midlands and compete with London and the South East.
Aaron Bell MP, Newcastle-under-Lyme added:
The cancellation of stage 2 of HS2 will come as a relief to many Newcastle residents, especially those in Madeley. The business case for the line had fundamentally changed and the Prime Minister was right to make the tough decision to cancel it. I’m delighted that the Government is investing the savings into road and rail schemes across the Midlands and North, including the improvements to Junction 15 of the M6 which I have long been campaigning for.
Projects announced today by the Government which will benefit North Staffordshire:
- £36bn to be invested in transport projects across the Midlands and North
- We will reopen the station at Meir on the existing Crewe-Derby line.
- We will reopen the railway from Stoke to Leek, last served by passenger trains in the 1950s.
- We will upgrade junction 15 of the M6, the main access to the Potteries from the south, to reduce delays, queuing and congestion on and off the motorway.
- We will upgrade the A50/A500 Corridor from Stoke-on-Trent to Derby.
- Stoke-on-Trent gains a share of the new £2.2bn Midlands Local Integrated Transport Settlement, an entirely new fund for councils outside the combined authority areas - smaller cities, counties, towns and countryside – to invest in local transport.
- Stoke-on-Trent will be on the main HS2 route from London Euston to Manchester under our plans, rather than bypassed by it. Trains will run on the Phase 1 high-speed line as far as Handsacre, north of Lichfield, then on the existing line through either Stoke-on-Trent or Crewe to Manchester. Trains from Stoke-on-Trent will reach Euston in 70min, 20 min faster than now. Stoke-on-Trent will see 1-2 HS2 trains per hour; under previous plans HS2 would probably only have served it a few times a day (it would have been served by a special service running only to Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield, rather than part of the service to the major traffic centre of Manchester.)
- Stoke-on-Trent also currently has two fast conventional trains each hour, taking 91 min. Under HS2’s previous plans, this service would have been halved and slowed down, probably running via Birmingham. Stoke-on-Trent will still retain at least two fast trains every hour to London, least one (possibly two) conventional via the direct route and at least one (possibly two) on HS2.
- Increased funding for BSIP for the Midlands
- Midlands Road Resurfacing Fund