Saturday 27 July 2019 / 12:37 PM Rachael Maskell / Rail

Rachael Maskell MP, Shadow Transport Minister, responding to Boris Johnson’s speech, says ‘sadly nothing has changed’

Rachael Maskell, Shadow Transport Minister, responding to Boris Johnson’s speech, says ‘sadly nothing has changed’

“It’s quite embarrassing the Prime Minister had to ask people to applaud his announcement of a faster line between Leeds and Manchester.

“It’s quite clear the northern audience know that it’s not even a half measure and not worth clapping. Council leaders, Mayors, businesses and Transport for the North all want Labour’s Crossrail for the North from Liverpool to Hull and upto the North East, as we promised in our last manifesto, to truly unleash the economic potential of the North.

“This is sadly once again another Tory Prime Minister coming to the North with nothing new. There is no timeline, no linking of northern towns, just more vague promise of a skeleton line, and a rehash of the insulting level of investment for the region that Theresa May tried and failed to bribe Labour MPs with a few months ago.

“Instead of backing Labour’s Crossrail for the North, Johnson is offering a cheapskate refurb of existing lines. There is no timeline on delivery.

“Labour will bring proper investment to the north, prioritising connectivity for rail across the North and putting in vital infrastructure to attract the economic investment for northern towns and cities. A properly integrated rail system can only be delivered under Labour’s publicly owned rail service not the fragmented system this government backs.

“Boris Johnson failed to answer key questions today such as whether he’ll reverse the decision not to electrify the Trans Pennine Rail line and whether it will be upgraded for freight.

“Boris Johnson is pretending he’s interested in the North after decades of Tory neglect, but sadly, this speech shows that nothing has changed once again”.