Wales should receive 'up to £5bn' as sections of 'England-only' HS2 face delay

There are calls for Wales to get up to £5bn in funding as the sections of the HS2 rail line nearest to the country are set to be delayed.

Sky News understands that the delay will impact sections of the high-speed railway between Birmingham and Crewe, and Manchester and Crewe in a bid to cut costs.

Even though the HS2 service will not travel through Wales, the UK government has classed it as an England and Wales project.

This means that Wales will not get any extra money to spend on transport, unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Welsh government's own estimations suggest that Wales should receive around £5bn based on the country's population if the project was changed to England-only.

Wales would get that extra money through the Barnett Formula, which calculates how much funding the devolved administrations receive from the Treasury to spend on devolved areas.

The UK government says HS2 is a "national project" which benefits both countries and says that Wales has benefited indirectly from any increases in the Department for Transport's budget which have been driven by HS2.

The Welsh government argues that HS2 "does not benefit Wales".

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "Today's news re-affirms that HS2 is an England-only project and does not benefit Wales.

"We once again urge the UK government to provide Wales with a fair Barnett consequential of the HS2 funding."

Sky News has approached the Department for Transport for a response.

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader, said: "What's left is a short line between Birmingham and London.

"Absurd that [David TC Davies, the Secretary of State for Wales] continue to pretend that HS2 is an 'England-and-Wales' project."


Elin Jones, the Llywydd of the Senedd, who represents the constituency of Ceredigion, added that if connection to Crewe is delayed "there's no way that HS2 is an England/Wales project".

Ms Jones added that the Barnett consequential "must be triggered".

HS2 will not be travelling through Wales and this is not the first time that calls have been made to brand the project "England-only".

The Welsh Affairs Committee recommended in July 2021 that HS2 should be "reclassified as an England only project".

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It said at the time that the Barnett Formula should be used for working out "additional" money based on HS2 funding in England.

"This would help to ensure that Welsh rail passengers receive the same advantage from investment in HS2 as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland," the committee added.