SCRAPPING the HS2 link to Yorkshire would be nothing less than a betrayal of the region that jeopardises future economic prosperity and places us at a serious disadvantage to other areas of the country.
The fury with which politicians have reacted to reports that the new line to Sheffield and Leeds may be under threat is entirely justified, and it should act as an uncompromising message to the Government that such a move is entirely unacceptable and will be fiercely resisted.
Read more: HS2 route to Yorkshire under threat
The point cannot be made too strongly that high-speed rail is transformative for Yorkshire, delivering as it would 50,000 additional jobs and a £15bn boost to the economy.
A failure to seize such massive opportunities when they are within grasp would be a dereliction of duty on the part of the Government.
The full benefits of HS2 to Britain can only be achieved if the entire network is built, and that means scrapping the Yorkshire link would be a short-sighted and
counter-productive move for the entire country.
But for our region, it would be a body blow.
We have been denied a fair share of investment in transport for too long. Our rail network is still running on infrastructure which dates back to Victorian times, not the hallmark of a world-leading economy.
Without HS2, an already creaking rail system can only get worse, and the long-term damage that would cause is incalculable.
The case for bringing HS2 to Yorkshire is inarguable, and whatever conclusions the review reaches about controlling costs, they should not under any circumstances include depriving this region of the chance for a better future that it deserves.