Lucy has written to the Minister for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, after the government have today announced plans to electrify the rail line between Manchester and Leeds have been “paused.”
Electrification of the route had first been announced in 2011 as part of a £400m north west-wide programme, but today the government admitted that the plans will now be shelved, placing the blame on Network Rail, the body in charge of delivering the project.
Less than two months into the new Parliament, the government have already shown their lack of commitment to fulfilling their promises to the North, and Lucy has slammed the government for once again showing their disregard for cities like Manchester.
“We will invest a record £13 billion in transport for the North. We will electrify the main rail routes, build the Northern Hub, and provide new trains for the North.”
p11. Conservative Manifesto 2015
This news is a kick in the teeth for passengers using this route and flies in the face of a manifesto promise Ministers made to commuters across the North. If the Northern Powerhouse is to be more than warm words then Ministers must prioritise transport improvements in the region.
It is unacceptable that the work has stalled because of Network Rail’s failures and I have written to the Transport Minister to demand some clarity about what he envisages by the scheme being “paused.”
The Government need to get this situation under control as soon as possible and begin the badly needed work on upgrading the line.”