Transport for the North (TfN) have aired their disgruntlement at the policies announced today in the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP).
The Government has announced that it will scrap the Eastern leg of HS2 from the Midlands to Leeds.
In response the Government has pledged to introduce a new route between Warrington and Manchester which will extend through to West Yorkshire.
This has sparked outrage amongst Northern leaders who feel the Integrated Rail Plan is ‘woefully inadequate’ in upgrading the infrastructure in the North.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Interim Chair of TfN commented on why there is so much discontent amongst Northern leaders over the IRP.
Cllr Gittins said: “After decades of underfunding, the rail network in the North is not fit for purpose.
“It is largely twin-track Victorian infrastructure trying to cope with the demands of a 21st Century economy.
“Leaders from across the North and from across the party political divide came together to ask for a network that would upgrade the North for this century and in line with the rest of the country.
“Our statutory advice asked for an over £40 billion network but the Government has decided to provide even less than half of that.”
Cllr Gittins elaborated further on how frustrations have grown amongst Northern leaders who have seen investment placed into infrastructure projects in London and the Midlands.
Cllr Gittins added: “Whilst we have been working on our upgrade plans we have watched as billions have been poured into HS2 building work from London to Birmingham.
“We have watched as billions have been poured into Crossrail being dug out and built across the capital.
“It is time for the North to have its fair share.
“If we truly want to level up the country we don’t need words and promises. We need commitment. We need investment.
“We need Government to make good its pledge to the North and to deliver funding.”