Northerners get used to the usual disappointments

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Have we been treated with utter contempt for so long that the mere mention of a possible rail infrastructure project sends our local media into spins of ecstasy?

The CONdem government’s recycled announcement of a High Speed 3 rail link across the Pennines led to another frenzy.

The level of hysteria at this (latest) announcement were astonishing - wall to wall coverage that someone “down south” mentioned something “up north”.

It became so strange that I was expecting to see reports of street parties from Hadrian’s Wall to the Humber.

Obviously, this didn’t happen - Northern folk are used to big announcements - and big disappointments when they don’t happen.

Never mind High Speed 2 (or 3) - most of us can’t even get a through ticket from our mainline stations through the Channel Tunnel - even though I’m sure our taxes helped pay for it.

So what exactly was this announcement that the media expected us to get so worked up about?

A possible High Speed 3 rail link from Manchester to Leeds (eventually Liverpool to Hull). A scheme that in reality is uncosted, unfunded, has no timetable when it might happen and, at the moment, doesn’t seem to have a specified route.

We’re now told that a study will be with us by March next year (probably just weeks before this government loses office).

But here are bad news stories on the immediate horizon across the North of England - so long shunted into a siding by the Westminster political elite.

If the Government had wanted some plaudits it could have started by scrapping the damaging proposals it already has for our railways instead of trying to con us with something that might never happen.

Craig Johnston

Rail, Maritime, Transport Union Regional Organiser