The North and Midlands will receive £4.7 billion to spend on transport infrastructure, after the government cancelled the HS2 rail line north of Birmingham

Rishi Sunak has set out how transport funding redirected from the government’s abandoned HS2 plans will be shared across regional councils as he holds a Cabinet meeting in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The North of England will be allocated £2.5 billion and the Midlands will receive £2.2 billion made available after the northern leg of the flagship levelling-up project was axed.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper defended the government's decision on HS2: "Rather than spending a third of the government's transport budget on a single railway line, we decided to stop doing that and spend it instead on transport projects across the country".

The government has said the money will go into a “local transport fund” targeted at smaller cities, towns and rural areas, which councils and unitary authorities will decide how best to spend.

However, Labour ridiculed what it described as the government's “back of a fag packet plan” and said communities in the Midlands and North are “sick and tired” of empty promises.

Labour's Party Chair Anneliese Dodds said "the reality is many of the schemes being talked about have already been announced... This is ultimately spending money that was previously earmarked for something else, that was then cancelled after many years of mismanagement of HS2".

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