The Transport Secretary, following the rise of Parliament, has made it known that he will scrap the electrification of the TransPennine route. York passengers would have gained from the electrification project which would have improved journey times to Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester and Liverpool and as a result increased capacity on the trains which are frequently overcrowded.
It was only on Thursday that the Transport Secretary scrapped the electrification of three other routes in Wales, the Midlands and the North West. Having been dragged to Parliament late on Monday night after slipping out a written statement on HS2 on Monday; Mr. Grayling refused to come to the House of Commons on Thursday to explain his cuts to rail. He didn’t even have the courtesy to put the TransPennine route announcement into a written statement before the rise of Parliament, instead waiting until the first day of the Parliamentary summer recess to make his plans known, avoiding any scrutiny by MPs.
Rachael Maskell MP for York Central and Shadow Rail Minister says:
“Parliament, MPs and the public have been treated with complete contempt by the Transport Secretary who will not face MPs until September. The public deserve a full explanation now. The way that this Government has been treating our ‘Parliamentary democracy’ since the election has been disgraceful.
“This is a slap in the face for the commuters and businesses in the North, including those in my constituency of York Central. Just six weeks ago the Tories promised the electrification of the TransPennine route as an integral part of the Government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’. This is not only damaging for those who use the service, but also for York’s economy.
“For years the Tories have promised electrification for the North, delivering faster, greener and more reliable services along with the significant economic benefits brought about by improved connectivity. The Tories have gone from Northern Powerhouse to Northern Powercut. Another broken promise from a Government that's hit the buffers. As the Shadow Rail Minister I will be doing all I can to get this work back on track. I am ambitious for the future of York and the wider economy, and won’t let the Tory Government stifle economic opportunities for our city.
“People won’t be fooled by Grayling’s claim that the same benefits will be realised without electrification as we know that this is simply not the case. Labour are committed to deliver a Crossrail for the North, and it’s clear only Labour have the ambition to transform the economies of the North of England.”