McMahon demands Shapps sets date to start work on Northern Powerhouse Rail – nearly seven years after it was first promised

Date published: 23 June 2021

Labour has demanded the Government sets a date to start work on vital rail infrastructure in the north after nearly seven years, following media reports suggesting a major project could be scrapped.

Shadow Transport Secretary, and Oldham West and Royton MP, Jim McMahon, has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, asking him to confirm reports Northern Powerhouse Rail – also known as HS3 – could be axed are incorrect. 

He has also asked Shapps to clarify why the project is yet to be approved more than six years after it was announced – despite being lauded in government press releases more than 60 times.

Labour is demanding ministers finally set out a route plan for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and commit to beginning infrastructure work on the project – which was first promised by then-Chancellor George Osborne back in 2014.

In his letter, Mr McMahon said: “Warm words and vague promises, the likes of which we have seen from the Prime Minister during recent by-election campaigns, are simply not good enough. 

"Labour will not stand by while cities like Bradford – among those set to benefit most from vital infrastructure upgrades – risk being stifled by this government’s failure to keep its side of the bargain.

“Our party is clear - Northern Powerhouse Rail should be built.

"Estimates predict it will connect millions more people and thousands of businesses and help tackle our imbalanced economy.”

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