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Italian rail operator handed four-year extension to HS2 contract

Boris Johnson stays below strain from some Conservative backbenchers to scrap the controversial rail hyperlink. But others within the North East are urging him to press forward.

While observers consider it’s unlikely that the western leg might be axed, important doubts stay over the working of the £32bn jap spur to Sheffield and Leeds.

HS2 was initially designed with a “Y” form offering high-speed hyperlinks to London from either side of the ­Pennines. But the jap half has but to be lastly agreed, regardless of historic commitments from Government ministers that it’s going to go forward. The National Infrastructure Commission, headed up by the Government’s massive constructing initiatives adviser Sir John Armitt, has referred to as on ministers to prioritise regional rail companies over the jap leg.

The closing determination on the jap leg is predicted to be made as a part of the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Comprehensive Spending Review this autumn.

A spokesman for Avanti stated: “We welcome the Department for Transport’s Prior Information Notice which reaffirms that the duration of the West Coast Partnership’s National Rail Contract will be up to 10 years, to October 2032. We look forward to working with the DfT on the new contract, which will be customer-centric and with an appropriate balance of risk and reward for all parties.”

A authorities spokesman stated: “Our Williams-Shapps plan for rail will create a truly passenger focused railway. A key step towards that is moving train operators onto new rail contracts which will deliver more punctual, reliable services. The department has made no final decisions with regards to the length of the contract at this stage.”

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