THERE is an awkward contradiction between International Trade Secretary Liz Truss on the one hand acknowledging that Leeds needs better transport and on the other refusing to back the HS2 link to the city.
If Ms Truss, and the Government, are serious about giving our region the transport network it requires, then HS2 needs to go ahead without delay. We have struggled for far too long with a creaking rail system that in essence dates from the Victorian era, and that has to change.
Without the HS2 line to Sheffield and Leeds, there is a risk of Yorkshire falling further behind competing regions, and the opportunity lost for a massive economic boost including thousands of new jobs, which it must always be borne in mind benefits not only us but the entire country.
The case for the complete HS2 network has been made even more forcefully in recent days and weeks by amongst others the CBI and the country’s leading commercial property developers, as well as by political leaders across the North.
Yet Ms Truss’s reticence on the subject is a further worrying indication that the Government is far from committed to this truly transformative project.
As of last week, there is no firm date for the publication of the review into HS2, which points to a lack of urgency.
The message from Yorkshire is clear – HS2 is vital to our future prosperity, and must come to Sheffield and Leeds. Anything less would be a shameful betrayal of the north.