Naz Shah, one of Bradford’s Labour MPs, says some rail services now are slower than in Edwardian times, while Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, has been pressing the case for the West Yorkshire city.
Now new research, peer reviewed and endorsed by global infrastructure consultants, WSP Strategic Advisory, has named Bradford as the city with the most to gain from levelling up. Middlesbrough, Hull, York and Leeds also feature prominently on a list that is dominated, unsurprisingly, by major towns and cities across the North – the so-called ‘red wall’ seats that backed Boris Johnson at the 2019 election.
Yet what is significant by this research, commissioned by zero-carbon housebuilder Etopia, is that more people commute out of Bradford each morning than travel into the city. And the conclusion to draw from this is that Bradford, a city which prides itself on having the youngest population in the country, and the surrounding district is a prime candidate for inward investment from potential employers.
However this is less likely to happen when its rail services are woeful – even by the North’s standards – and when its schools are fighting for resources to teach, and nurture, the workforce of the future.
As such, this newspaper stands by its view, first stated last year, that Bradford’s future should be one of the defining tests of the still-to-be-published Levelling Up White Paper.
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