Here are the broken promises, presented in the form of an Integrated Rail Plan to Parliament by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps: HS2 will only go to East Midlands Parkway, not Leeds, and its trains will reach the region by getting to Sheffield on creakingly slow track; Northern Powerhouse Rail will not have a new high-speed line between Manchester and Leeds via Bradford but from Warrington to “the western border of Yorkshire” in Marsden.
Voters in Yorkshire gave Boris Johnson the benefit of the doubt based on his promises to the North, leading to a sweep of industrial heartlands placing their trust in a man they helped become Prime Minister, but who has proven himself, time and again, untrustworthy.
One who pontificated, in the North, about his now hollow “levelling-up” agenda only last month at the Conservative Party Conference – “the greatest project that any government can embark on,” he said.
Yet, here we are: a rail plan for the North that could embarrass even Chris Grayling, rolled in glitter, presented as a prize for Yorkshire. Ministers, stupid we are not.