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The Transport Committee says that alternative options to the Integrated Rail Plan have not been properly tested. These could transform stations and city centres in key northern cities.
The committee demanded a full analysis of the plan’s wider economic impact so there is better value for taxpayers and local communities.
Last November’s IRP pledged to deliver faster train journeys more quickly than the scrapped HS2 eastern leg and the original Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme.
Last week Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled investment worth up to £11.5billion for Transpennine route upgrades. This was a large increase on the £2.9billion promised to improve services between Manchester and York, via Leeds.
But today’s report warns the purpose of Northern Powerhouse Rail – to connect the “great cities of the North to build a northern powerhouse” – is at risk.
MPs say work is urgently needed to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to high-speed connections to Leeds.
Committee chair Huw Merriman said: “Many towns and cities are already disappointed.”
He added investing such a huge sum “must be based on the best evidence and value for money. It must bring the greatest overall benefit to rail services, the economy, environment and communities in the North and Midlands.”
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