THE humbled demeanour being adopted by Boris Johnson in the wake of the ‘partygate’ scandal doesn’t appear to have influenced Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, judging by his arrogant dismissal as “irrational” critics of this Government’s decision to deliver a second-rate rail solution for the North of England (‘Mayors are irrational on railway plan’, The Yorkshire Post, January 19).
Nothing I’ve read by anyone who seems to know what they’re writing about suggests it’s possible to deliver the extra capacity needed through Mr Shapps’ mishmash of existing network upgrades and less money for new projects.
Increasing capacity by keeping high-speed and commuter services apart – as HS2 East would’ve done – is easy enough to understand. Mr Shapps’ dog’s breakfast isn’t.
Those “red wall” Tories apparently plotting against Mr Johnson because of ‘partygate’ can forget being taken seriously on “levelling up” at the next election. Thanks to Mr Shapps, you’ve fallen already at the first hurdle – even before Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove delivers his White Paper. Please go, Mr Johnson. And take your arrogant and unapologetic Transport Secretary with you.
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
WE must accept that Grant Shapps is faced with a chalice unrivalled in its toxicity.
Thanks to decades of Westminster’s vertiginous lying, he finds himself forced into a Damascene conversion which inisists that, when it comes to Northern railways, outstanding outcomes can now be achieved at half the cost in half the time.
How did this revelation come about? We haven’t heard from Mr Shapps’ predecessor, ‘Failing Grayling’, for some time. Has he been busy cooking this up?
I dare say that Mr Shapps realises that another Johnsonian “apology” won’t help, so he doesn’t seem to have any option other than slagging off the metro mayors – and probably The Yorkshire Post. I’m sure you’re all equal to the challenge.
From: Ralph Lennard, Leeds.
GREAT summary by Tom Richmond on the front page about the appalling way we “up north” are treated by Grant Shapps and his southern-based colleagues. As for his exclusive on the same edition’s opinion page, it’s all platitudes and really they care nowt for us. I do believe we pay the same taxes up here, but being kind and generous folk we helped to pay for Crossrail.
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