Damning report shows 42 per cent of trains to Leeds are delayed or cancelled
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A total of 42 per cent of all services fail to reach the city’s central station on time, data from On Time Trains suggests.
Although HS2’s eastern leg linking Birmingham to Leeds was officially pulled in 2021, a long-awaited study looking at how high-speed trains could still reach Leeds started this summer.
The government insists the money saved from the cancellation will be ploughed into upgrading the existing transport infrastructure across the north.
But the leader of Leeds’ Conservative group, Alan Lamb, was critical of his party for its handling of the situation.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s executive board on Wednesday, he said: “It’s not a happy situation. We’re not good at national infrastructure in this country.
“I can understand, given how costs have spiralled out of control with HS2, why the decision has been taken .
“But it’s not a glorious way of getting here.”
Coun Lamb said that “governments of all colours” had failed to deliver good transport infrastructure for the north, citing the last Labour administration’s refusal to back a tram system for Leeds in the 2000s.
He added: “The death knell of HS2 was right at the start when the selling point was that you were going to be able to get to London 20 minutes quicker.
“What it was actually always about was increasing capacity and getting freight off the roads and onto the railways and that’s the big strategic picture that’s been missed and overlooked.”
Among the proposals being pushed by the government for spending the HS2 money is the electrification of the railway line between Leeds and Sheffield. It’s suggested this would create four times more capacity on the network than at present.
Faster trains between Leeds and Hull, and more of them, are also envisaged, while all six northern city regions will receive 75 per cent more funding than they do now to improve connectivity.