Thirty northern leaders have written a letter expressing their concern at the Integrated Rail Plan.
They draw attention to changes on the eastern leg (called in the plan the “eastern core”) which took the HS2 route up to Leeds. It also mentions the alterations to the Leeds-to-Liverpool Northern Powerhouse Rail route which would stop by Bradford, Manchester and Warrington.
“Your decision, contrary to your ambition to ‘level-up’ the North, runs the risk of holding back our regional economies and compromising our plans to cut carbon emissions, just days after we hosted COP26,” the letter said.
It said the government’s “promise” of these cut back routes had not just meant quick journeys but also “more jobs and homes, new investment and regeneration and better opportunities for our young people.”
The leaders go on to call the plan “paired back” and unable to realise the region’s potential. They say the decision will have an impact 100 years or more into the future.
It suggests a vote on the plan in Parliament.
The letter’s signatories include Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Liverpool mayor Steve Rotherham and Tracy Brabin mayor of West Yorkshire.