Councils across the north of England were shocked and dismayed by announcements from Chris Grayling MP, the Conservative Transport Secretary, which seem to backtrack on pledges to electrify the rail service across the North and in other parts of the UK.
He then added insult to injury by choosing to announce the day after that Crosrail 2 in London would be going ahead.
SIGOMA, the group that represents metropolitan councils like Calderdale, has made strong representations to Mr Grayling, warning that this announcement threatens the whole credibility of the so-called Northern Powerhouse.
Calderdale Labour leader Tim Swift has joined the lobby, writing separately to Mr Grayling in support of the SIGOMA campaign.
Cllr Swift says,
“I support the objections to your decision to backtrack on the commitments already given on electrification – and find it astonishing that you then proceeded to announce that Crosrail 2 would be going ahead.
“This just highlights the massive imbalance in infrastructure investment which has damaged the north for too long.
“We believe that investing in the north is the best way of rebalancing the economy and driving economic growth. The Goverment must think again”.
Cllr Swift’s letter is here:-
The SIGOMA letter also includes a number of charts setting out the relative amounts of funding going to London and other regions.