Fury As Government Pulls Back From Original Pledges To Expand Rail Lines In The North
Downing Street has significantly watered down its pledges to improve railway infrastructure in the north, prompting outrage from the public.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the government’s new rail plans on Wednesday and revealed that the eastern leg of HS2 – from Birmingham to Leeds – has been cut.
The Northern Powerhouse Rail, from Manchester to Leeds, has been completely dropped too and Downing Street is only looking to upgrade the existing rail lines.
The government has confirmed it will be pouring £96 billion of investment into the current plan, and prime minister Boris Johnson has claimed that this new strategy means the north can “level up” at a faster rate.
He wrote in the Yorkshire Post: “High-speed rail is grindingly slow to build.
“Under the original blueprint, first drawn up more than a decade ago, Yorkshire would not have seen the benefits of our investment until at least the 2040s. Levelling up can’t wait that long.”
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab has also dismissed any complaints and described the new plans as a “win win” – but it’s safe to say plenty of people feel the north has been hard done by in this announcement.
Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon is just one of many opposition MPs who has implied that the north was betrayed by this decision.
Here’s a roundup of all the disappointed and frustrated reactions to the diluted railway plan.
The scrapping of a major Northern Rail Route should be the final straw for this government with their “ Levelling Up “ pledge . This along with monumental corruption , the lack of planning for a post Brexit economy and their COVID ineptness should be enough to bring them down!
Good morning on a day when we are going to feel unheard, unimportant, unnecessary.
Perhaps most tellingly, unintelligent. A decade of promises to give families in our region parity (not more!) of opportunity with other families elsewhere, all broken. #MindTheGappic.twitter.com/mq77NMusO5
Anyway don’t believe the spin, cancelling the final bits of HS2 is a dumb decision, it will screw efforts free up capacity on the existing network, we’re now gonna do HS2 totally half-arsed, and it sounds as though there’s not much cash left for a new transpennine route.
Seriously?? #DominicRaab on #Today (in 5 mins) defending cancelling #HS2 East & Northern rail projects…. The man who didn’t understand the importance of Dover-Calais to British biz & who’s keen to stop misogyny against men …. Seriously?? #clueless