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It's Payback Time, Boris, West Mids Mayor Tells The PM

Prime minister Boris Johnson

If Boris Johnson was in any doubt that the West Midlands wants the HS2 high speed rail project to go ahead, he isn’t any more.

West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street says abandoning the project would be a hammer blow to the region.

Speaking to the Guardian, Street said refusing to commit to the HS2 line from London to Birmingham and the north would mean a lost decade for the region. 

Political commentators expect Johnson to approve the scheme as part of the budget, to be delivered on 11 March.

The decision follows a review of the project's costs and risks by Douglas Oakervee that is understood to recommend modifications to ensure better connections to the north and lower costs that could be as high as £108B.

Street, who was involved in the Oakervee reivew, told the Guardian the high speed line was “mission critical” to the region.

The government’s focus on the West Midlands will be sharpened by the general election result, which delivered substantial gains for the Conservatives.

Birmingham Northfield, West Bromwich East, West Bromwich West, Wolverhampton North East and Wolverhampton South West all turned from red to blue on 12 December. Today, the West Midlands has 15 Conservative MPs and 14 Labour, the first time in decades that the Labour Party has been in the minority.

Related Topics: Boris Johnson, HS2, Andy Street