Cancelling these northern rail projects looks bad – because it is bad

When push came to shove it was the north that bore the brunt, Jon Stone writes

Thursday 18 November 2021 19:45
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<p>Passengers arrive and depart on Great Northern trains at Bradford Interchange station on Thursday </p>

Passengers arrive and depart on Great Northern trains at Bradford Interchange station on Thursday

The government's rail plan is called "the integrated rail review" because it was supposed work out how to integrate HS2 – a new north-south line – with Northern Powerhouse Rail – a new east-west line.

As it happens, the review did not answer that question: it simply recommended cutting crucial bits off both projects.

People with knowledge of the review process say that far from looking at how to plan a rational rail network, it became a battleground for Rishi Sunak's Treasury to clamp down on spending.

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