The overhaul of the rail network, set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will be a missed opportunity if the new body is based in London.
Many of the problems on the region’s railways can be attributed to decades of under-investment by London-based politicians and officials who thought the North was the final stop on the Northern Line.
And while Mr Hollinrake, Tory MP for Thirsk and Malton, is quite correct to cite York’s proud rail history, this newspaper believes that another Yorkshire city – Bradford – would be a far more symbolic location for GBR’s new headquarters.
This is the city that is integral to Northern Powerhouse Rail being the economic and transformative success envisaged by Boris Johnson on at least nine occasions in the past two years.
Yet, as The Yorkshire Post has reported this week, official documents appear to indicate that the Government is scaling back on its commitment to build a high-speed line between Leeds and Manchester, via Bradford, in order to unleash the North’s potential.
Not only would it mark another milestone as the Government looks to move civil service jobs out of London and into the regions, but GBR officials would also see for themselves, as they travel to and from work, why a new railway is the key to reviving Bradford’s fortunes and enabling residents of the UK’s youngest city, in terms of age demographics, to broaden their horizons. There must be no turning back – now or in the future.
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