Grant Shapps gave private ‘assurance’ to top Tory about scrapping of £3bn HS2 branch from bill
A proposed £3bn branch of HS2 linking Crew and Manchester with the west coast may be scrapped, the transport secretary reportedly told a senior Tory MP.
The government insists no decisions have been made about the Golborne Link element of the project, despite claims Grant Shapps privately promised the chair of the 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, it would be shelved.
The link, which would run through Brady’s constituency of Altrincham and Sale West, wrote to a constituent giving “categorical verbal assurances” it would be removed from a bill going through parliament, the Guardian reported.
The department for Transport told City AM no decision have been made, and said it is still included in the High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill.
The link has been controversial since it is was put forward, with MPs in the surrounding areas such as Warrington, Wigan and Trafford raising concerns over its impact.
Brady, who runs the powerful backbench 1922 committee, told the Guardian he had been campaigning with local Tory MPs to “make the case for this £4bn white elephant to be dropped”.
Sir Graham Brady and Grant Shapps have been approached for comment.