June 30: Rail failure makes mockery of Northern Powerhouse claim

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From: Prof Paul Salveson MBE, Yorkshire First, Radcliffe Road, Golcar, Huddersfield.

The delays to electrification of the Midland Mainline from London to Sheffield and the TransPennine route between Manchester and York do not come as a surprise. Yorkshire First raised the likelihood of much-needed TransPennine electrification being put into a siding during the General Election campaign.

It makes a mockery of the Government’s commitment to “the Northern Powerhouse”. It’s fine talking about a new HS3 route linking the Mersey and the Humber – but the most optimistic scenarios suggest that it is decades away.

Rail users in the North need electrification now, not in 20 years’ time. It is highly significant that the Government is going ahead with electrifying the Great Western Main Line from London to Swansea. Could it have anything to do with Wales having its own, pro-rail, devolved government? Yorkshire and the North languishes without its own elected government and nowhere is it more obvious than in transport.

From: Alex Strickland, Childwall Road. Liverpool.

I WRITE to express my agreement with your editorial “Five Questions on Rail Betrayal” (The Yorkshire Post, June 26).

The electrification of both rail lines between Leeds and Manchester (through Huddersfield and the Calder Valley) is crucial to ensuring connectivity, boosting capacity and creating an environment for the creation and sustainability of high-skilled and well-paid jobs.

Failure to electrify these lines in the near future will put an end to the dream of a Northern Powerhouse, however much national politicians try to convince us the idea has simply been put on ice.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

WHILE cheering to the echo your “Show us the money, George” Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, June 29), let us remember that these two northern transport let-downs are not the first. Shortly after we were awarded the Olympic Games, money promised for a Leeds tram system went to London, shrouded in obfuscation. London’s superb Crossrail project has cost £15bn and already, they are talking of Crossrail 2. Dare I suggest that not one metric farthing be lavished on this until the “Northern Powerhouse” is well on its way? As a start, what about a basic 21st century tram network for Leeds?