YEP Says, June 25: Commuters taken for ride over city’s railway betrayal

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TALK about taking Leeds commuters for a ride. Two months ago, a succession of Tory ministers – David Cameron included – visited this city and reassured voters that the electrification of services from West Yorkshire to Manchester would be central to the Government’s transport revolution.

TALK about taking Leeds commuters for a ride. Two months ago, a succession of Tory ministers – David Cameron included – visited this city and reassured voters that the electrification of services from West Yorkshire to Manchester would be central to the Government’s transport revolution.

Now that the plan has been postponed – management failings at Network Rail have been cited – Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin must now answer these five questions without delay (unlike the trains).

1. When was the Minister first informed that the TransPennine Express scheme would have to be halted? Was this before or after the election?

2. Why has the Minister not had adequate oversight of Network Rail following the shambles last Christmas when engineering work over-ran?

3. What is the new timetable for the TransPennine Express electrification?

4. How does the Minister respond to accusations that his transport budget is being ‘cannibalised’ to pay for HS2?

5. How can taxpayers have any confidence in the Government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ policy?

Unless robust answers are provided, many will conclude that the Government’s policy for Leeds, Yorkshire and the North amounts to tokenism. Over to you, Minister.

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