During a visit to Buckinghamshire today, Rishi Sunak responded to criticism of local transport infrastructure and promised to redeploy ‘every penny’ of scrapped HS2 plans towards ‘road maintenance and potholes’.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield today (January 22) to meet students and “celebrate the success of the UK’s film and television industry” alongside Joy Morrissey, MP for Beaconsfield and Marlow.

Speaking to the media during his visit, the Prime Minister said he “understood and entirely sympathised with” public frustration about the disruption caused by the ongoing HS2 construction works between London and Birmingham. 

Adding: "Regarding (local) disruption, I can tell you that Joy (Morrissey) and her colleagues do a great job of holding those responsible to account, as will the government continue to do that.

"It's what they deserve and it's what we will deliver."

Mr Sunak also said that ‘local road and rail investments’ would now be ‘delivered far quicker’, thanks to the money previously allocated to the expansion of the high-speed railway beyond the West Midlands. 

“I made the decision last autumn to take the money we would have spent on the further expanse of HS2 and invest that into the country in the forms of transport that people use more often – things like road maintenance and potholes, or capping bus fares.

“Without commenting on individual projects, the decision that we’ve made on HS2 allows us to redeploy every penny that we would have spent to projects that will benefit people across the country.”

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Although he didn’t refer directly to ongoing transport projects in the county, such as the Aylesbury “spur” road and the South East Aylesbury Link Road, the Prime Minister said: “There are many local road and rail investments that could be delivered far quicker to bring benefits to people that they really value, as an alternative to old plans.

“Those conversations are happening as we speak.”

Ms Morrissey added that she was working alongside “all” her fellow Buckinghamshire MPs to secure local compensation from the HS2 project.

Speaking in parliament earlier this month, Rob Butler, MP for Aylesbury, called for the scrapped HS2 funds to go towards traffic easing schemes the South East Aylesbury Link Road and the Eastern Link Road.

He said: “(These) two road projects are absolutely critical to the future success of (Aylesbury). They will ease congestion, reduce air pollution and help spur economic prosperity.

“They are (also) essential to support the huge amount of house building that we’ve already seen in and around Aylesbury and the thousands more houses that are going to be constructed in the coming years.”