Killing HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in favour of so-called towns plan is a national betrayal
The funding will unquestionably be welcomed, especially by those towns whose high streets have become battle-weary shadows of their former selves.
Intended to be spent on tackling anti-social behaviour, transport links and generally making the nation’s towns more appealing places to spend time - and money - it is likely that those charged with leading, protecting and growing places like Dewsbury, Doncaster, Barnsley, Scarborough and Rotherham - five Yorkshire towns earmarked for the funding (yes, we know Doncaster is a city!) whilst grateful for the handouts, will likely describe the payments as corn plasters on severed limbs.
Following years of austerity and relentless cuts to public funding pots, local leaders are at their wits’ end when juggling dwindling budgets, deciding which public service to cut next.
Combined, those two connectivity developments do not simply unlock latent potential ready and waiting to be harnessed in the region, they have the power to unlock a boon for UK plc – it should not only be we in the north alarmed at the lack of ambition, killing the two projects is a national betrayal.
In short, the towns plan does not cut it: either the Prime Minister and his party care about levelling up or they don’t. On this evidence, it is clear they do not.