Widespread criticism of the Johnson government’s rail strategy

BFM Business

The British government has unveiled a new railway strategy to better connect the center and the north with the rest of the country. The strategy was quickly criticized by the opposition as a “betrayal” of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promises.

It is an “unprecedented” effort, according to Transport Minister Grant Shapps. A “huge investment” of £96 billion that would specifically “build three high-speed lines” and electrify several hundred kilometers of rail. The Johnson government’s plan was unveiled on Thursday. Grant Shapps stressed, “This is one of the largest rebalancing efforts between the south and north of the country, which is less well served by infrastructure”.

The massive project, with a budget of over £100 billion, will give North London the first line in 150 years and the second high-speed line in the country after the HS1, which was used in the south-east of England. Eurostar.

Boris Johnson “broke his promise”

In sharp criticism, Labor MP Jim McMahon, representing Oldman near Leeds, accused “this rotten government” of “selling us out completely”. They specifically condemned the removal of a section of the high-speed line under construction HS2 to serve Leeds via Birmingham. Another arm of this line runs from the middle of the country to Manchester in the north-west. “We were promised a new line, [Boris Johnson, le Premier ministre conservateur] broke its promise,” he said, referring to “a big blow to our region”.

Scottish MP Gavin Newlands quipped, calling on the government to consult with France or Germany on their developed high-speed line network.

Work for the first section, London-Birmingham, began in April 2020, and several French construction giants, such as Vinci and Effe, are participating.

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The government also confirms that this new plan will allow regional links in the north and center to be built faster and at a lower cost than the Pharaonic Project HS2, weighed down by disputes over delays, cost inflation and its environmental impact. They argue that the billions saved will be invested in modernizing existing lines to make service faster and more frequent.

“We are doubling the capacity between Manchester and Leeds, tripling between Liverpool and Manchester”, argued Boris Johnson, while Grant Shapps recalled that Labor leaders themselves had widely criticized HS2.

Rachel Reeves, Labor responsible for financial matters, however described the new strategy on the BBC as “deeply disappointing”. At the same time, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has stepped in to ask London’s public transport not to be forgotten, arguing that the country’s recovery depends on the vitality of the capital and services without funding by 11 December. There will be a huge reduction in

The disputes are related to the British government

These new controversies come at a politically sensitive time for Boris Johnson, who is facing a declining election popularity. His massive election victory in 2019 was in large part due to Democratic strongholds in the country’s north, who voted for his pro-Brexit agenda and vowed to tackle regional inequalities. But his government now faces corruption charges and is battling a dispute with Brussels over the application of the Northern Irish Protocol in the context of Brexit, after holding COP26 with mixed results.

A year after the effective entry of Brexit, inflation has soared due to a shortage of goods in the UK and workers’ conditions have worsened as workers exit the EU. Also there is an influx of migrants crossing the Channel illegally and dangerously, adding to tensions with the European Union and France over a government that has promised Brexit will help “gain control” of Britain’s borders. will help.

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