THE UK Government said it plans to electrify the North Wales main train line with money saved from scrapping the northern section of HS2.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday (October 4) that the Manchester leg of HS2 has been scrapped. 

Instead, the UK Government said it plans to spend "every single penny" of the money on a series of other rail projects across Wales and the North West. 

The Prime Minister told his party’s conference, taking place in Manchester, the HS2 project’s costs had “more than doubled”.

He said: “I say to those who backed the project in the first place, the facts have changed.

“And the right thing to do when the facts change is to have the courage to change direction.”

Mr Sunak announced that £1bn of funding will be set aside for the electrification of the North Wales Main Line - which would bring some communities within "one hour" of Manchester. 

Wrexham's Tory MP, Sarah Atherton, said: "I am thrilled by the Prime Minister’s announcement today, which unveils the UK Government’s plans to electrify the North Wales Main Line, enabling stronger connections between Wales, London, and the North West.

"The redirection of the £1 billion initially allocated for HS2 towards this electrification project represents a substantial investment that will transform North Wales’ public transport infrastructure. Once completed, North Wales will be able to deliver faster, more dependable, and more frequent services for both local residents and visitors."   

Simon Baynes, a fellow Tory MP for Clwyd South, added: "Speeds will be increased and it will bring parts of North Wales within an hour of Manchester.

"It will lead to more punctual, reliable journeys on the 126-mile route between Crewe, Warrington, Chester, Llandudno and Holyhead, where ferry services run to Dublin.”


Plaid Cymru has however slammed the decision to axe the northern leg of HS2 - and says Wales is owed a further £1bn from the scheme. 

The planned connection at Crewe was the UK Government’s argument for treating HS2 as an "England and Wales" project. This meant that spending on the project has been treated by the Treasury as benefitting both England and Wales. In turn, this has meant that Wales does not qualify for consequential funding, unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland.

At least £2bn would be allocated to Wales under the Barnett formula due to spending on phase one of HS2, were Wales treated in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “High-speed rail for London, crumbs from the table for Wales. Electrifying the North Wales Main line is said to receive around £1 billion. Plaid Cymru will not accept that this pledge replaces the more than £2 billion Wales should have already received in Barnett consequentials for the first phase of HS2.

“It's only thanks to Plaid Cymru's decade-long demand for Wales to receive our fair share from HS2 that Rishi Sunak now feels pressured to give empty promises of the most modest of benefits to Wales. We cannot believe a word the Conservatives have to say on electrification. For years, the Tories promised electrifying the south Wales line between Cardiff and Swansea, before it was scrapped."