South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis warns levelling up will 'fail utterly' without HS2 through Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis has condemned the Government for ‘doing as little as possible to help the North’ amid reports HS2 through Yorkshire and a new line for Northern Powerhouse Rail will be scrapped.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:27 pm

Confirmation is expected in the long awaited Integrated Rail Plan on Thursday.

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Mr Jarvis said: “We’ve already waited months to see the Integrated Rail Plan, and now we know why. It seems like, as we feared, the Government is going to try to get away with doing as little as possible to help the North.

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Dan Jarvis. Picture Scott Merrylees

The reports at the weekend were deeply worrying. If true, then it seems like the Integrated Rail Plan won’t deliver either Northern Powerhouse Rail or the HS2 Eastern Leg as promised.

“Delivering these projects in full would bring vital money into Sheffield’s economy and help people in South Yorkshire get to great jobs.

“NPR is critical for linking up our Northern towns and cities while the Eastern Leg of HS2 would support NPR and give South Yorkshire a high speed link to the rest of the network.

“These are not optional extras – they are the bare minimum needed to redress the unacceptable and longstanding neglect of transport in the North.”

HOW MUCH WOULD HS2 AND NORTHERN POWERHOUSE RAIL COST?

The cost of HS2 in full has increased from £32.7bn in 2012 to an estimated £107.7bn.

The most expensive version of Northern Powerhouse Rail is estimated to cost £42bn, the cheapest £27bn.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS?

Transport for the North says says NPR alone would add £14.4 billion to the UK economy by 2060, create up to 74,000 jobs by 2060 and take the equivalent of 58,000 cars off the road.

Mr Jarvis said without both rail lines, the Government’s flagship levelling up policy would ‘fail utterly’.

He added: “This is an absolutely critical test of ‘levelling up’. If these reports are confirmed, then the Government has utterly failed that test. They will have broken the Prime Minister’s own pledge and reneged on the promises made to thousands of voters across the North.

“The Government is either serious about levelling up or not. If they are, we will support them. But if they are not, people in South Yorkshire, or anywhere in the North, will not be fooled by half-measures and spin. We know what transformation looks like – and this isn’t it.”

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