The UK government has issued a report on its rail network that contains mistakes and questionable promises. The 36-page prospectus is titled "Network North". It was issued in the wake of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scrapping the major HS2 infrastructure project – a high-speed rail link connecting the northern city of Manchester to the south. The front cover of the publication seems to have relocated Manchester 70 km north-west. Network North also committed to upgrading a road called the A259. However, this road is on the south coast of England. Among other bloopers, the report vowed to extend a tram network to Manchester airport. The airport link actually opened in 2014.
Government critics were dumbfounded and dismayed at the scrapping of the HS2 rail link. The line was announced with great fanfare by the Conservative government in 2012. HS2 was a major component in efforts to "level up" the north. Abandoning the link is seen as Mr Sunak's latest U-turn on a policy initiative. Just a year ago, he was committed to the project. Many people say it shows the government's disregard for the north of England. They lament railway lines in the north being "Victorian" – over a century old. The High Speed Rail Group said: "Every other major European country has managed to build a high-speed rail network, recognizing it's a vital part of a modern society and economy."