Boris Johnson has pledged to fund a new high-speed rail route between Leeds and Manchester.
The BBC and other media reported that the Prime Minister used a speech in Manchester (July 27, 2019) to back the trans-Pennine link to “turbo-charge” the region’s economy.
The 36-mile route would cut journey time from 50 minutes to fewer than 30, it is claimed. Details of the route are due to be published in the autumn, after a review into HS2, North-South rail line.
Yorkshire Party Transport Spokesperson Bob Buxton welcomed the move but sounded some words of caution.
“Almost halving journey times between Leeds and Manchester would be a massive step forwards for the North. It’s important that such improvements are matched across Yorkshire and the rest of northern England, and I hope to hear firm commitments – with specific funding – in the near future.
“To build a rail network which works for everyone, we also need to reinstate lines that Beeching axed – including many short but important ones, such as the line to my hometown of Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
“Just as important, are improvements to transport within cities, as the new Prime Minister has alluded to previously.”
“As encouraging as the early indications from Boris Johnson are, there is only one way to ensure Yorkshire has proper priority in the years and decades to come: powerful devolution.
“Prime Ministers and governments come and go, while transport infrastructure development moves on a much larger timescale. Only a Yorkshire Assembly can be guaranteed always to focus on Yorkshire.”
Mr Johnson also spoke of areas having greater control of their own affairs. He added: “We are going to give greater powers to council leaders and communities,” he said.