Chancellor George Osborne has been told he either needs to ‘put up or shut up’ by an Ashton Labour MP after plans to electrify the railway line between Manchester and Leeds seem to have been out on hold.
Angela Rayner is demanding ‘cast-iron commitment’ from the Chancellor to continue with the scheme as a way of bridging the gap between the ‘investment-starved north and the rich south’.
The plan to modernise this commuter route has come as part of a £13billion initiative from central government, which hopes to create 7,000 new jobs.
But a ‘pause’ in construction has become a major concern for MP Rayner as she says the project has already been delayed for too long.
She said: “We need a cast-iron commitment from the Chancellor that electrification will go ahead. He needs to either put up or shut up.
“We must pressure the Government to deliver on its promises, otherwise the Chancellor’s pet Northern Powerhouse project will be seen as so much empty rhetoric.
“The project has already been delayed for far too long – the uncertainty needs to be ended now, once and for all.”
Electrification will enrich the region’s economy at a time when it is desperately needed, and will also end the misery experienced by commuters due to overcrowding.
“It’s an issue that really matters to people in Ashton and Guide Bridge who experience daily commuting problems and discomfort,” the MP said.
“It would also begin to redress the shocking imbalance between the investment-starved north and the rich south.”
Image courtesy of altogetherfool, with thanks.