Dan Jarvis tells Boris Johnson he 'fails to live up to promises" with rail plans
Dan Jarvis has written to Boris Johnson to say that the Integrated Rail Plan was “emblematic” of the Government’s “failure to deliver” and called on him to “review” the plans and “increase investment in rail and other transport infrastructure for South Yorkshire and the North.”
The interventions comes after last week’s announcement that the Eastern Leg of HS2 from the Midlands through to Leeds would be scrapped, and plans for a new Northern Powerhouse Rail line between the West Yorkshire city and Manchester significantly scaled back, as part of the Government’s wider plans for rail infrastructure.
Mr Jarvis called the publication “a landmark moment for the North, but sadly for all the wrong reasons.”
“The plan was a once in a generation opportunity to fix the injustice of decades of neglect and deep inequality between regions”, he added.
But “instead of unlocking the North’s potential by tackling our greatest structural challenges, it will lock in a short-term, cut-price, second-class solution for another generation to come, deepening the divide between places that are connected and that those that are not.”
“Like many Northern leaders, I welcomed the levelling up project, but made clear I would judge the Government by its deeds, not its words.
“With the IRP, people in South Yorkshire and across the North know you have failed to live up to your promises.
“I hope you act now to restore their faith.”
The Government has defended the plans, saying they would provide faster journeys and more train capacity across the North, but in a shorter timeframe than the HS2 plans.
The letter from Mr Jarvis comes the day before the transport body representing the North of England is due to meet in Leeds to discuss its next steps following the "woefully inadequate" plans from Ministers.
The Transport for the North board will meet tomorrow morning to speak with "one voice" of reaction across the regions they represent, to ensure the North "gets the rail connectivity it needs and deserves."