Ministers want to axe HS2 rail link and use £60bn fund for high-speed internet revolution

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LIZ TRUSS wants to push the button on a high-speed internet revolution – funded from the billions earmarked for HS2.

The Sun can reveal the Treasury chief secretary has launched a review into how to free up money to dramatically bring forward the roll out of ‘full fibre’ broadband.

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A source said that Liz Truss was eyeing £60bn currently earmarked for the high-speed train link[/caption]

She wants officials to look at how to fund and deliver the super speed cable – 40 times quicker than traditional copper wire – to ‘forgotten’ towns and rural areas across the UK.

And source told The Sun the ambitious Tory was eyeing £60billion currently earmarked for the high-speed train link HS2.

Experts believe it would cost £30billion to roll full fibre out across the country.

Currently just FOUR per cent of homes have the super speed connections – compared to 71 per cent in Spain and 89 per cent in Portugal.

And under current Government plans it will take another 14 years before we see nationwide coverage in 2033.

‘IMAGINE THE BENEFITS’

A source said: “People are realising that money earmarked for other projects could be spent far better elsewhere.

“Rolling out full fibre would cost £30 billion – much less than HS2.

“And imagine the benefits of connecting the whole of Britain – homes and businesses – to high speed cable.”

The move comes just days after Ms Truss signalled HS2 could be axed as part of the Government’s ‘zero-based’ capital review.

Speaking to the Spectator, she said the troubled London to Birmingham rail link’s future would be looked at “very intently” as part of the work.

And she signalled she believed improving transport into big cities such as Manchester would be better.


At the time she said: “We have to be rigorous about what infrastructure is going to maximise opportunities for people.”

HS2 was first proposed by Labour over a decade ago. But it has been blighted by spiralling costs, delays and protests.

Some £4billion has been spent without a single piece of track being laid.

PA:Press Association

HS2 is an under-construction high-speed railway that will travel between London and Birmingham[/caption]

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