HS2: Sheffield and the North 'betrayed' by rail downgrades says Sheffield MP Louise Haigh

A Sheffield MP has described the sense of ‘betrayal’ in the North at plans to downgrade rail links.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 5:26 pm

Louise Haigh said there had been wrangling over the route and knock-on consequences for years in South Yorkshire.

But even Tory MPs were angry at plans to ditch HS2 through Yorkshire and a new high speed line between Manchester and Leeds.

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Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley on a bus in Heeley.

In the Commons on Wednesday, former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, asked the Prime Minister if people had been ‘foolish’ to vote for him based on promises he had made.

Ms Haigh also claimed the sense of betrayal extended to Red Wall Tories, who took seats in former Labour strongholds at the last election on the promise of investment in the North.

She added: “They were promised levelling up and they haven’t seen any of it.

Sheffield Heeley MP, Louise Haigh, has launched a Better Buses app to record complaints. She wants to see the buses renationalised.

“For the government to now say the rail plans are not going ahead is such a betrayal.

“If it is not going to invest in Sheffield we need compensation and investment in transport we use day to day.”

Ms Haigh supports The Star’s campaign for public control of buses, called franchising, and extensions to Supertram to serve the hospitals.

She said: “The Northern General is so poorly connected my constituents in Low Edges are more likely to use the hospital in Chesterfield. Supertram should be extended to properly serve the city.”

On franchising, she said: “Our bus services are a vital lifeline for many communities across Sheffield and for decades they have been in gradual decline. We’ve seen routes cut off, prices go up and services deteriorate.

“The move towards an Enhanced Partnership with bus operators is welcome but we need to see a clear plan towards the franchising of public transport.

“On Sunday, we saw the lack of ambition our government had to address the climate crisis and I’m calling on leaders across South Yorkshire to show the ambition our government lacks. Passengers and communities cannot wait until 2040 for the introduction of a new zero emission bus fleet – this needs to be introduced immediately.

“Our communities need a reliable, cheap and environmentally friendly bus service.”

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