Hull wants promises about rail upgrades to be 'turned into action'

Rail Minister Huw Merriman is being urged to set out a clear plan and timeline for electrifying the rail line linking Leeds and Hull.

The Government pledged to provide around £3bn which could be used to upgrade the 50-mile line as part of its work on Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The promise was set out in its Network North plan, which was published after the northern leg of HS2 was scrapped by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

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Councillor Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, said it is time “for the government to turn their promises into action”.

A train leaving Hull Paragon StationA train leaving Hull Paragon Station
A train leaving Hull Paragon Station

According to the plan, it will increase capacity and cut journey times, allowing passengers to travel from Hull to Leeds in 48 minutes and from Hull to Manchester in 84 minutes.

However, critics have claimed that Network North contains a list of vague promises which it will struggle to deliver. Most of the projects have not allocated funding or granted planning permission.

Councillor Ross said he met with Mr Merriman last week and urged him to set out a timetable for the electrification of the line linking Leeds and Hull

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“Rail electrification is something that would make a huge difference for Hull and the wider region, helping lead to quicker connections to the rest of the north of England,” he said.

“Sadly, it is something that has been promised by previous governments, only for those promises to be broken later on.

“I look forward to getting more information from the government on exactly what they are proposing.”

According to the council, the project could drive economic growth by putting 1.1m people and 31,000 businesses within 90 minutes of Hull.

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It comes as the Government is aiming to deliver the £11.5bn upgrade of the TransPennine Route by 2033.

The upgrade of the 76-mile line, which runs between York and Manchester, was first announced by David Cameron’s government in 2011. It promises to cut journey times, improve reliability and increase capacity.