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"That would be a betrayal". Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester cautious of HS2 plans in north.
11 February 2020, 14:46
Andy Burnham, the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester believes although the Prime Minister's plans for rail in the north of England is welcome, there is not enough attention being given to the north.
In the wake of Boris Johnson's announcement that HS2 works will commence, Shelagh had the mayor of Greater Manchester on the line to discuss his feelings on the news.
Andy Burnham, who got a special mention in parliament from the Prime Minister as someone who was delighted with the news, spoke of how he advocated for better links between Liverpool and Manchester, the two major cities of the north.
"I was pleased that the Prime Minister mentioned Liverpool to Manchester and getting Liverpool on high speed rail" The Labour Mayor admitted. He added that Bradford, which is often forgotten, should also be on the system in order to create a new line, rather than an upgrade to Northern Powerhouse Rail.
When Shelagh pressed Mr. Burnham on the timescale of the planned works, he expressed concern on how committed the government are for the London to Birmingham plans without showing the same interest in the north.
"That's one of my worries coming out of today" the Labour man revealed. He went further to express his awareness that the Prime Minister has a habit of not acting on the promises he makes.
"The Prime Minister is good at that isn't he, a big energetic statement in the house" but stressed when you dig down into the detail, there is not much evidence of a high standard of infrastructure planned for the north as in the London-Birmingham plans.
Shelagh pointed out the acknowledgement by Boris that voters he won in the north in the general election "loaned him their vote" to which Mr. Burnham stressed that a failure to create appropriate infrastructure in the north would be "fundamentally unacceptable" and a betrayal of everything said during and since the election.