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23 August: news in brief

Further HS2 rethink reported

THE Prime Minister is considering building the northern sections of HS2 first, according to reports. He announced a wide-ranging review of the scheme on Wednesday, to be led by former HS2 chairman Douglas Oakervee and Lord Berkeley, with complete cancellation said to be an option. The Times now says that the review will also consider whether the project should be ‘reprioritised’. Mr Johnson is understood to be interested in the idea of bringing forward the later phase from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds. At the moment, HS2 Phase 1 between London and Birmingham is intended to open first, in 2026, with Phase 2a between Birmingham and Crewe opening a year later. Phase 2b, which consists of the lines between Crewe and Manchester and between the Midlands and Yorkshire, is not currently planned to open until 2033.

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