Parliament debates the next phase of HS2 which sees the route now move north from Birmingham to Crewe, getting closer to Manchester.
There is little doubt that the project is vulnerable, some critics will point to overspend and others to the impact on areas along the route, but too often MPs in the north are asked to support scrapping the project to fund other local transport schemes. I react against that; when does London have to choose?
We don’t want any more, but we certainly shouldn’t accept any less than London.
We want fair funding; HS2 but also better East-West connectivity and better transpennine links. We also want to bring back the many bus routes cut – losing over 30million bus miles a year in Greater Manchester alone.
I also want to see Metrolink extended to connect Ashton with Oldham Mumps, and Westwood through Chadderton to Middleton, before going on to Bury. I’d also make the case for a spur link to Royton.
If I could make a change to HS2 it wouldn’t be to scrap it, but to connect to St Pancreas rather than London Euston; that would then connect to Eurostar and on to France and beyond, that would help reduce air travel and be better for the environment too. But that isn’t an option as it stands today.
I’ll keep fighting for investment in the north.