And they will arrive up to 10 years sooner.
The Integrated Rail Plan, published tomorrow (Thursday), is ‘the biggest ever public investment in the network’ and will improve connections between major cities and on shorter routes, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
But Northern leaders have condemned it for axing HS2 through Yorkshire and ditching a new high speed line between Leeds and Manchester via Bradford.
He added: “This is an absolutely critical test of ‘levelling up’. If these reports are confirmed, then the Government has utterly failed that test. They will have broken the Prime Minister’s own pledge and reneged on the promises made to thousands of voters across the North.”
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “If we are to see levelling up in action now, we must rapidly transform the services that matter to people most.
“That’s why the Integrated Rail Plan will be the biggest transport investment programme in a century, delivering meaningful transport connections for more passengers across the country, more quickly – with both high-speed journeys and better local services, it will ensure no town or city is left behind.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Throughout the pandemic, we stood by our railway and invested billions to keep the country moving, and we are about to unleash a £96 billion programme of investment that will transform a Victorian network into one befitting a modern country.”
The IRP includes £360m for London-style contactless ticketing across commuter rail networks to deliver price-capped integrated ticketing with local buses and trams.
The £106bn HS2 network was due to be built in stages, with the final leg to Leeds completed by 2040. Northern Powerhouse Rail set to cost between £42bn and £27bn.
Last year, the National Infrastructure Commission said the focus should be on rail links between cities, sparking fears the eastern leg could be scrapped.