Boris Johnson has appeared to confirm reports that the eastern leg of HS2 has been scrapped.
The Prime Minister returned to his former role as a journalist today penning a column in the Yorkshire Post trumpeting rail improvement plans for the region.
The £96bn Integrated Rail Plan will help transform services across the Midlands and north of England cutting journey times ten years earlier than planned.
Full details of the plan will finally be revealed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps later today.
Johnson said: “HS2 will come to Sheffield, meaning a trip to or from London will take just 1 hour 27 minutes – precisely the same as under the old HS2 plans, and fully half an hour faster than now. And we’ll look at how to get HS2 to Leeds too, with a new study on the best way to make it happen.
“But high-speed rail is grindingly slow to build. Under the original blueprint, first drawn up more than a decade ago, Yorkshire would have not have seen the benefits of our investment until at least the 2040s.
“Levelling up can’t wait that long. And towns like Wakefield, Doncaster, Dewsbury and Huddersfield would have suffered as trains were taken off the existing main lines.
“So rather than just waiting for another two decades for a scheme that snubs much of Yorkshire, we will do more, and sooner.”
HS2 was originally meant to connect London with the city centres of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
It now appears a shorter high-speed route will be created from Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway, with the HS2 trains then running as far as Sheffield on mainline tracks.
Developer British Land has signed the first major building contracts for the vast Canada Water regeneration scheme in London.
Wates, Mace and McAleer and Rushe have secured the first three jobs which are together work up to £300m.
Enabling works are underway at British Land’s 53 acre, mixed-use scheme in Southwark, which will deliver up to 3,000 homes.
The first three buildings will be net zero embodied carbon calling for innovative new approaches. Operational carbon will be reduced by using electricity rather than gas for heating.
On the largest contract, the A1 tower secured by Wates, heat will be recycled from offices into the building, which British Land said was an industry first.
First Phase 1 buildings at Canada Water
Wates contract – Plot A1 – a 270,000 sq ft tower for 186 build to sell homes
Adjacent to Canada Water station, plot A will consist of a 5-storey podium and 35 storeys of housing above
Mace contract – Plot A2 – a 250,000 sq ft office-led project including a 56,000 sq ft leisure centre
Offices and leisure situated next to the new residential tower
McAleer contract – Plot K1 – a building solely for 79 affordable homes.
K1 plot plan for affordable housing designed by architect Morris + Company
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