Calderdale Lib Dems attack ‘broken promise’ over HS2 and ‘scaling back' Norther Powerhouse Rail

Plans to cut the Eastern leg of HS2 and scale back the Northern Powerhouse Rail represent another “broken promise” from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government, say Calderdale Liberal Democrats.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 8:47 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 8:48 am
Halifax train station

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Calderdale Council, Coun James Baker (Warley) claimed the decision would set back parts of the north of England economically and environmentally, accusing the Government of “broken promises.”

“The Conservative party promised it wouldn’t raise taxes on working people, then broke that promise. They promised they wouldn’t scrap the triple lock for pensions, then broke that promise. So, is it any surprise they have broken their promise of rail improvements for the North of England?” he said.

Coun Baker said proposals to cut the Eastern leg of HS2 will set back plans to improve rail capacity, dashing opportunities for increased passenger connectivity, and rail freight, along with all the environmental benefits this would bring.

“As we look to the future, this leaves West Yorkshire and the North East of England further isolated from the global economy with diminished future transport and economic opportunities.

“This U-turn on investment in the North also represents a massive lobbying failure by local Government leaders in West Yorkshire, and so-called ‘Red-Wall’ Conservative MPs.

“If between them they can’t generate enough influence over Whitehall and the Government what hope is there for our future?” he said.

The Government has said a £96 billion rail improvement programme instead will help transform services in the Midlands and northern England, with local service upgrades bringing faster journeys happening up to 10 years earlier than planned.