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HS2 papers that ‘could lead to ministers scrapping the rail line’ to be released

Time Published 16th October 2019

HS2 Ltd is to release documents about the high-speed rail project that detail discussions with Theresa May’s government over the scheme’s planned completion dates. It follows a two-and-a-half year legal battle by a GP who fears a “cover-up” took place to mask delays. The Government-owned firm has previously admitted the papers could lead to ministers scrapping the planned rail line if they were made public.

Dr Paul Thornton, who is campaigning against HS2, wanted the papers to be released to ensure an official review into the scheme is “fully informed” before it reports to Boris Johnson. Meanwhile, the Government’s review is understood to be considering a plan for direct train links between Manchester and Leeds, reducing the journey time between the two cities from more than an hour to just 20 minutes.

This would mean Northern Powerhouse Rail, a proposed network of new and upgraded lines, being reduced in scope.

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