Tracy Brabin’s anger as new Leeds-Manchester train line – and new Bradford station – could be scrapped
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has slammed the government amid reports officials should cut a new high-speed train line between Leeds and Manchester via Bradford.
The Northern Powerhouse Rail project would involve the construction of a major new station in Bradford for the “High-Speed 3” line.
But the Sunday Express said ministers are due to meet today and remove the new line amid rising costs of the High-Speed 2 (HS2) project from London to Leeds, “well-placed sources” say. .
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The report claims the government will instead carry out £ 10bn of upgrades in the north, including electrification of the existing Transpennine line between Manchester and Leeds.
West Yorkshire Mayor Ms Brabin said today she had contacted Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to “seek urgent clarification” on the rumors.
“Bradford is a city with great potential and opportunity, but if we are to see this fantastic place grow and prosper it needs the new NPR line running through it with a new main station for Bradford, ”the Labor Mayor said.
“How is it fair that the 6th largest city in the UK does not have adequate rail service?
“Yes these reports were true, the implications go far beyond the city of Bradford, they would impact people across the region.
“If we are serious about bringing the North up to speed, then the Northern Powerhouse Rail plan, with a line going through Bradford, is absolutely crucial to ensuring that our cities are never left behind again. “
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Northern Powerhouse Partnership director Henri Murison said the rumors were “of deep concern to northern leaders.”
“WWe need to be reassured and certain that these rumors have no substance, which means an integrated rail plan released before the summer recess, ”he said, referring to the long overdue report that will define the government’s vision for rail.
Shipley MP Philip Davies told The Express there would be a “scandal” if the costs of the HS2 project resulted in reductions for the Northern Powerhouse Rail project.
But he said the government “has made it clear on several occasions that Northern Powerhouse Rail will be delivered and is under no threat.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport told the Express: “The Integrated Rail Plan will soon outline exactly how major rail projects, including Phase 2b of HS2, the Transpennine Highway upgrade and other transformation projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to provide reliable rail services. which passengers in the North and Midlands need and deserve. “
It comes after northern leaders urged the government to release its rail plan “urgently” to avoid more delays for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.