Improving northern transport must be priority for next Prime Minister - The Yorkshire Post says

As Sajid Javid’s campaign to become Prime Minister took him to Yorkshire by train following a pledge to spend billions on improving northern rail connectivity, he was far from the only Conservative leadership contender making grand promises about what they intend to achieve in office.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid pictured on the train as it leaves Huddersfield Station. Picture by Simon Hulme
Home Secretary Sajid Javid pictured on the train as it leaves Huddersfield Station. Picture by Simon Hulme

Boris Johnson pledged to “significantly” increase the amount spent on every secondary school pupil to at least £5,000 as he launched his campaign yesterday, while in recent days Rory Stewart has boldly stated his intention to solve the adult social care crisis with the help of ordinary people making recommendations on how it can be revolutionised.

Given the crowded field of 13 contenders, it can be little surprise that such eye-catching claims are being made. However, Conservative Party members and ordinary voters more generally are likely to question whether such planned policies are feasible, and if so, why senior politicians in a party that has held power for almost a decade have been unable to deliver them before now.

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Whoever ends up succeeding Theresa May will do well to bear in mind that actions will be valued over words by voters in Yorkshire and across the country. As such, one of the first items in the new Prime Minister’s in-tray should be the fair allocation of funding to northern transport schemes.

A draft business case for £220m-worth of Government to support a range of transport schemes in South Yorkshire is to be submitted to the Department for Transport this month ahead of a final case being presented in November. They include improved walking, cycling and bus lane routes, as well as the creation of a new station on the tram-train line between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Supporting the projects would be an excellent way to get the next Prime Minister’s tenure moving in the right direction.