Not only will better rail connections help Hull to attract more inward investment, and employers of the calibre of Siemens, but a high-speed line across the Pennines to Liverpool would also enable both port cities to handle more commercial freight and, thereby, ease pressure on the road network.
As such, both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail should be viewed as a vote of confidence in Hull at a time when the city finds itself with one of the country’s highest rates of unemployment after Covid – and in spite of a concerted effort by enlightened leaders over the past decade to develop new jobs and opportunities.
It is also why The Yorkshire Post wrote an editorial on August 12 naming Hull and Bradford, which is regarded as Britain’s youngest city, as defining tests of the Government’s levelling up programme. With the right political will, the opportunities for both cities, and the rest of the North, is unlimited. Fast forward a fortnight and not one Cabinet minister has accepted this challenge.
Is that because they’re not sufficiently exercised by such cities – or have no idea what levelling up is supposed to mean? Either way, it is disconcerting at a time when Hull is launching a new economic blueprint while, at the same time, remaining in the dark about the Government’s future intentions on rail.
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