Transport secretary Chris Grayling has poured cold water on calls from Northern leaders to allocate additional transport funding for the North.
Speaking during a visit to Leeds today, Mr Grayling would not be drawn on calls from more than 80 MPs and Peers who have asked for £100bn in extra funding for infrastructure projects and an acceleration in delivering high speed rail linking Northern cities.
When questioned on the contents of the letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, the transport secretary told The Yorkshire Post: “We are moving ahead with Northern Powerhouse Rail now, and Transport for the North is working on a detailed business case for it.
“They have put forward a proposal for how it should roll out.
“It is not a single line, it is a rolling series of improvements to building a much better rail network than it is now. It was in our manifesto and we are committed to delivering it.”
When pressed on speeding up delivery of high speed rail to have the network up-and-running by 2032, the expected completion date of HS2, he said: “Parts of the TfN proposals are starting next year.
“What TfN recommended was we start with the TransPennine line, we do the Hope Valley Line, we do Liverpool to Manchester, we do upgrade of the existing route of Hull to Leeds - that work is starting in 12 months time, in order to get on with the whole project as quick as we possibly can.”
More to follow...