YEP says: Transport for the North must have powers to make a difference

FIRST we had the downgrading of two major rail electrification schemes in the region that had been much-vaunted prior to the election. Now this week's revelation that Transport for the North will only have advisory powers rather than the full autonomy promised by Ministers.

Despite Transport Secretary Chris Grayling maintaining that this region is receiving record funding, it does not compensate for decades of under-investment in its infrastructure.

It’s all the more opportune, therefore, that Hull North MP Diana Johnson will lead an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Monday night on transport investment in the North and, specifically, the trans-Pennine route which is little more than a glorified branch line in comparison to London’s state-of-the-art services. This issue transcends the constituencies serviced by the Hull to Liverpool line. It affects the whole region and is fundamental to the future of the Northern Powerhouse.

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Commuters deserve better than the service they have now, and it’s vital to Leeds’s future growth and economy. Every MP from Yorkshire should, at the very least, be present in a symbolic show of cross-party support to demonstrate the seriousness of this matter and Mr Grayling should be there to hear what they have to say.