AddThis SmartLayers

‘Are you for real?': Northern dailies slam Sunak’s axing of HS2

Regional dailies have shared their displeasure after Rishi Sunak confirmed the planned northern leg of HS2 will not go ahead.

The Prime Minister finally made the announcement in his speech to the Tory Party Conference after recent speculation about the high speed rail project’s future.

But the news has been met with anger at daily newspapers serving areas of the North of England and the Midlands that were set to benefit from the project this morning.

On its front page, the Manchester Evening News used Private Eye-style speech bubbles featuring previous promises about HS2 that were issued by George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.


The announcement came just two days after the MEN had challenged Mr Sunak with a special report about the Tories’ record on “levelling up”.

In Newcastle, the Journal’s splash simply asked Mr Sunak: “Are you for real?”

HS2 Journal

A rail hub in the East Midlands was also planned as part of the scheme, and the Nottingham Post focused on how the region had been left at “the bottom of the pile” by the news.

HS2 NOtts

In Preston, the Lancashire Post shared concerns about how the scaling back of HS2 would affect projects beyond areas that would directly benefit, such as a planned revamp of the city’s railway station.


However, the Yorkshire Evening Post found an aspect of the PM’s speech to cheer after it was revealed a planned Leeds tram network was set to be revived with the money saved from HS2 being scrapped.