Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary has reacted to criticisms of the rail upgrade plan which will eliminate the high-speed rail link HS2 from Leeds.
BBC Breakfast: Grant Shapps stated that “betrayal” is an apt word following the claims made by MPs and leaders in northern lands.
The £96bn rail package will see some existing trains lines upgraded rather than high-speed track being built.
Some firms supported Thursday’s announcement, as did anti-HS2 organizations.
However, it was condemned that HS2’s eastern leg, which runs from East Midlands Parkway (Nottingham) to Leeds, had been scrapped.
It was also condemned for scaling back plans to build the Northern Powerhouse Rail railway between Manchester and Leeds.
- HS2 – Has the government broken promises about high-speed rail and high speed?
- How does HS2 work?
Following his reaction to reports that rail plans were a “betrayal”, Shapps said that “vast majority” of trips would be more efficient due to the new Integrated Rail Plan.
Shapps said, “These plans are ones we can deliver on in the next decade.” These improvements can be seen now by the people.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Sterner said, however that Yorkshire’s “anger on the ground” was evident on Thursday as people discovered about the reduced-funding scheme.
“[The prime minister]The North was then betrayed by the North, and that promises were broken. It exposed that “the levelling up agenda” is just a slogan.
He stated that Labour party would construct the entire line and said the sections it had scrapped in its manifesto would remain “its commitment” for the future.
HS2 originally was intended to link London with Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. However it ran out of time and money.
The first section of HS2 linking London with the West Midlands has been completed. Crewe is the extension of the line’s next section.
It was the final stage that HS2 would be used to connect Manchester and Leeds. In May, Shapps stated that the Birmingham-to Leeds connection would proceed and be completed earlier than expected.
What’s the Integrated Rail Plan?
- The construction of HS2 between Crewe and Manchester with new stations at Manchester Piccadilly Airport.
- High-speed train linking Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway
- Northern Powerhouse Rail was delivered via a high-speed rail line that connects Warrington, Manchester, and Marsden in Yorkshire.
- Modernization or electrification the Midland Main Lines, East Coast Main Lines and Transpennine Main Lines
- New mass transit system in Leeds and West Yorkshire
- Funding for a program of fares, ticketing reform and contactless pay as you go ticketing in North and Midlands
- Study to determine the most efficient way to travel HS2 to Leeds Station, and capacity at Leeds Station.
Senior Conservative MPs as well as other opposition members reacted negatively to the plans.
Huw Merriman (chair of the Commons transport select panel) suggested Boris Johnson, prime minister, was “selling perpetual sun and then leaving that to others to account for the arrival moonlight”.
Robbie Moore is a Tory MP whose Keighley seat lies close to Bradford. He said that he was deeply disappointed by the package which “completely under-served” his constituents.
According to the plans, the city was to get on the Leeds to Manchester route.
A recent report revealed that Bradford was the UK’s 7th largest city. It is also centrally located.
Some business groups such as the Northern Powerhouse Partnership represent councils and businesses. They claim that not including Bradford would have a negative economic impact.
Labour’s Hilary Benn from Leeds Central said that Johnson had repeatedly promised him the construction of the new Leeds-Manchester high-speed line. She also added, “Leeds has been betrayed.”
There was also criticism that a significant portion of the £96bn pledged as new investment has already been announced, such as £360m to improve ticketing.
HS2 opponents have their own opinions, but some are happy with the line and describe it as wasteful.
Sandra Haith of an anti-HS2 Bramley Rotherham group said she was delighted, “not just as a Bramley resident but also as a taxpayer.” This is a waste of money.
She explained that “the eastern leg cost a lot and basically connects 2 cities. We can’t get on it. “We have all the pain, but no gain.”
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