RISHI Sunak is set for another Tory mutiny as money to reopen railways that closed in the 1960s is slimmed down in favor of new buses.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper considers spending $500m
The Sun on Sunday understands he wants to prioritize new roads and bus routes, but the Treasury Department won’t give him extra money.
They have told him to find the money internally, with Beeching’s budget potentially being cut to pay for roads, sparking a possible row with Red Wall MPs who have been promised the new railroads.
Sources close to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed that Department officials have also been told the money could come from the £2billion pot earmarked for cycling and walking routes.
In last year’s fall statement, Mr. Hunt launched an “efficiency and savings review” across all departments that would “reprioritize spending away from lower-value, low-priority programs.”
But Mr Hunt believes some Beeching reversals – which was a Manifesto commitment – should still happen.
An ex-cabinet minister was furious last night at the potential cuts.
They said: “This is very disappointing. We know they’re expensive, but they were promised to the nation.
“I know Boris loves trains, but I always got the impression that Rishi didn’t and thought roads were better.
“But it’s saving at the wrong end, since many bus lines have to be subsidized.”
The Department of Transportation said it would not comment on financial speculation.
However, insiders said a long-term plan for the operation, maintenance and expansion of Britain’s transport system is forthcoming.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7194400/rishi-sunak-railyway-bus-row/ Rishi Sunak faces a Tory mutiny over a plan to use cash to reopen railways for new buses