'This has got me so angry today': Bradford Council leader takes aim at Govt rail plan

18 November 2021, 19:57 | Updated: 18 November 2021, 20:18

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment the leader of Bradford Council, Susan Hinchcliffe, took aim at the Government over its Integrated Rail Plan.

The Government has confirmed the eastern leg of HS2, which would have connected Leeds with London via Birmingham and the East Midlands, is no longer going to be built.

The plan to connect Leeds with Manchester via Bradford as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme is also not going to go ahead.

Speaking to LBC's Eddie Mair in response to the Integrated Rail Plan, Susan Hinchcliffe said: "It's been a devastating day, to be quite honest, because we're a place that believes in levelling up.

"And when Boris Johnson said he was going to put a new line in between Leeds and Manchester, we're right in the middle of that. So why not through Bradford?

READ MORE: Govt slammed for 'betraying the North' as HS2 Leeds leg scrapped

She went on to say that she believes in "levelling up" and that Bradford "has been left out for too long".

She added: "I think it's just been such a disappointment today. I'm somebody who is a Labour leader [of Bradford Council] but I work across party for the good of my place. But this has got me so angry today, I have to say...It's not good when you've got a government who promises something and doesn't deliver it.

"And naively I thought they might actually deliver something for the North."

READ MORE: Raab denies levelling up promise is being broken as HS2 Leeds leg scrapped

In a statement earlier today the Bradford Council Leader said: "Bradford is Britain’s biggest opportunity. We’re the seventh largest city with nearly a quarter of our population under the age of 16. For just £30 million over the next three years from Government we would have been able to accelerate our plans to connect to the mainline rail network for the first time in our history. We’re ambitious to level up and become Britain’s leading clean growth city.

"Many of those plans - which were years in the making - are based around the new station and the wider Northern Powerhouse Rail project, which the Prime Minister personally promised to deliver.

“The Government has just missed a golden opportunity to make an investment which would have repaid itself many times over by creating 27,000 new jobs in Bradford and delivering £30bn in economic benefits for our district over a decade. But we’re not going to take no for an answer. It’s wrong-headed economics for the North and for the country not to connect Bradford so we will fight on.

"Tomorrow marks two months to the day since the Government created the Department for Levelling Up and said levelling up was its central mission. There could hardly be a better test of the Government's commitment to levelling up than Bradford.

“This blow will not dent out ambition. We will not let our people down, and we absolutely will not rest in making sure everyone in Bradford has just as good life chances as those people in the Tory heartlands of Surrey.”

READ MORE: HS2: Scrapping of Leeds leg will 'blight the life chances for millions of people'

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