Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis says delays to rail plan is “completely unacceptable”

Dan Jarvis said further delay to the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan is “completely unacceptable”.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:49 pm

The South Yorkshire Mayor criticised the government for putting off the release of its plans for rail investment in the North and Midlands including HS2 Phase 2b eastern leg and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

It was revealed in agenda papers ahead of next week’s Transport for the North board meeting that it would not be published until autumn.

Mr Jarvis said: “We’ve now been waiting for eight months to see the Integrated Rail Plan. This ongoing delay is completely unacceptable.

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Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MP

“As a consequence, we’re being asked to make impossible decisions about vital rail links, such as that between Sheffield and Manchester Airport, without even seeing the government’s list of rail investment projects.

“This continued delay further fuels the suspicion that what is being planned falls far short of the promises that were made. Indeed, after a certain point, delay starts to send a strong message of its own.”

The plans were due to be published “early” this year but this was delayed due to local election purdah rules and it has still not been released.

Mr Jarvis said: “I struggle to see how this government can claim to be serious about ‘levelling up’ the North, when there are so many question marks about something as basic as improving rail connections between our towns and cities.

“We desperately need the government to provide clarity on their plans for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail serving our region. They’re prolonging the uncertainty for businesses and people living on the proposed HS2 route in the North.”