THE frustrated commuters and freight carriers of our region want a very simple thing from the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and that is an efficient network that enables them to get to work and do business.
It is a damning indictment of Mr Grayling that he is not only failing to deliver, but attempting to compensate for his shortcomings by entering the realms of fantasy in suggesting that a so-called hyperloop system could connect Leeds Bradford International Airport with the city centre at some unspecified point in future.
This theoretical notion is nothing short of ludicrous. How can a senior politician possibly suggest that an untried, experimental transport system provides any solution whatsoever to the pressing problems of today? Such a suggestion can only serve to diminish Mr Grayling’s already low standing in Yorkshire even further. Hypothetical talk of a transport system that may – or may not – be proven realistic decades into the future is utterly nonsensical.
Worse, it represents both an abdication of responsibility on the part of Mr Grayling and an insult to the region, which has made an unarguable case for better transport links.
The need for such improvements cannot be overstated. Poor transport is holding back our region. It is already counting the cost of not being able to move people and goods speedily and efficiently, and without action to address the inadequacies, the future will not be as prosperous as it should – and deserves – to be.
Mr Grayling does himself no credit with his vague assertions about what could lie far into the future. The answers to Yorkshire’s transport problems are rooted firmly in the here and now. They involve investment to modernise the network to make it fit for purpose.
Mr Grayling should forget about hyperloops and instead make the necessary funds available.