NORTHERN POWERCUT: Gwynne backs MEN call for Manchester-Leeds rail electrification

Andrew Gwynne MP has backed calls by the Manchester Evening News for George Osborne to pledge that Manchester-Leeds rail electrification will go-ahead as originally planned.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin triggered fury and disbelief last week when he announced an indefinite ‘pause’ was being put on the scheme – which would have overhauled one of the most overcrowded routes in the country.

Guide Bridge, which lies in Andrew’s Denton and Reddish constituency, was due to be on the upgraded line.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“The cancellation of this line goes to show that the ‘northern powerhouse’ was just empty talk from the Chancellor. The Transport Secretary has called the electrification of the London to Bristol line ‘a top priority’, so the north is losing out to the south once again.

“If we want to link up our great urban centres and compete with the south of England, we need to sort out our transport infrastructure. I fully support the MEN’s campaign, and I hope this Tory Government delivers everything it promised before the election.”

M.E.N. Editor in Chief Rob Irvine said:

“The devolution of power to Manchester and the commitment to create a Northern Powerhouse together represent an opportunity for a fundamental shift in the way our country is run.

“But without the actions to back the fine words, it could all be just empty talk. The great towns and cities of the North of England need to have the kind of support and investment that London and the South East have benefited from.

“That is why it is essential George Osborne gets this project back on track – and quickly.”

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