Yorkshire MP demands commitment from Theresa May over future of northern transport

A North Yorkshire MP has demanded a firm commitment from Theresa May over the future of northern transport.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake. Credit: Bruce Rollinson

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake confronted Mrs May at Prime Minister’s Questions, demanding Government support for an ambitious transport plan put forward by northern leaders.

He said: “Would the Prime Minister confirm her support for Transport for the North’s strategic transport plan which will help create an additional 850,000 jobs and £100bn of economic growth by 2050.”

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He said the detailed proposals would boost the region “by connecting the key cities of the North through Northern Powerhouse Rail and improving key trunk roads, such as the A64.”

In her reply, the Prime Minister acknowledged “the importance of Transport for the North”.

And she added: “We are giving the great towns and cities and counties of the North more say over transport investment through Transport for the North, enabling them to speak with one voice on its vision for transport over the next 30 years.”

But Mrs May stopped short of committing to the plan, saying: “They have made significant progress in finalising their strategic transport plan and I welcome that and we are committed to reversing decades of underinvestment in northern transport and we’ll have invested a record £13bn in the region by 2020.”

On the proposals for improving the A64, she said: “I understand Highways England have undertaken considerable work on the performance of the A64 and that will inform decisions that they will be taking on strategic road investments in the next period between 2020 and 2025 as part of the second road investment strategy.”

The strategic investment plan sets out how key transport improvements across the region could deliver £100 billion in economic growth by 2050.