Grant Shapps's patronising claims on playing politics with rail won't wash with Yorkshire public - The Yorkshire Post says

During a select committee hearing this week, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps referred to the concerns of mayors about the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) as “pure politics”.

Northern mayors, including our own Tracy Brabin and Dan Jarvis, have expressed disappointment concerning the IRP.

While it is bold on claims of reduced journey times and increased investment, Mr Shapps and his ministers cannot disguise the fact that it is a watered down version of what had been previously promised.

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The decision to axe Northern Powerhouse Rail and to mothball the HS2 route to Leeds has dismayed the region.

Grant Shapps accused northern mayors of playing politics over Integrated Rail Plan.

The IRP, whilst containing some welcome measures for the North, does not come close to delivering what these projects pledged to achieve.

To be clear, these projects were not infrastructure plans that Yorkshire or the North asked for.

They were promised by successive Governments of varying colours.

Indeed, when seeking the leadership of his party and therefore the keys to Number 10, Boris Johnson said he wanted to be “the Prime Minister who builds Northern Powerhouse Rail”.

It is against this backdrop that we must view Mr Shapps’ condescending remarks.

What was arguably even more galling was when the secretary of state went on to claim later in the session that the reduced journey times between Leeds and Bradford would resemble a “London-style connection”, tantamount to saying Yorkshire should be grateful to enjoy services on a par with the capital.

We should not be grateful, it is what we are entitled to.

Connectivity in Yorkshire is a major problem that stifles business growth and life prospects for its citizens.

With the greatest respect minister, it is you who is playing politics, both with our lives and our livelihoods.