Friday, 26 June 2015
Northeren Powerhouse Paused
Before the election the Tories were promising to spread economic prosperity throughout the nation by the creation of a Northern Powerhouse. An essential feature of this was the upgrading of our Northern Rail Network.
Now, just seven weeks after the election, we are told that the electrification of the Trans-Pennine route from Leeds to Manchester is to be "paused."
It is difficult to express our indignation. The shameless manipulation of the news (that the programme was in difficulty was apparently known well before the election), the shameless abandonment of yet another promise, the shameless prioritising of London and the South East of over the rest of the country.
No hint that the costly and wasteful prestige project HS2, starting from the London end, should be "paused."
In earlier posts here and here I've argued the case for abandoning HS2 and substituting more useful, and much cheaper, alternatives. Interestingly these are among the most read posts on this blog.
If this latest piece of political chicanery helps stimulate the campaign against HS2 then at least some good may arise out of our "pause."
Post Script, added 29th June:A report by something called the Major Projects Authority, has concluded that the costs of HS2 have now risen to such and extent that the project is financially untenable. See the Guardian report, published on the same day as the revelations of the pausing of the upgrading of the northern rail network.
I've also picked up on a TV news bulletin that for every £10 spent on public transport in London, only £1 is spent in Yorkshire.
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