Northern leaders respond to recent Government statements about transport infrastructure investment.
Today the Mayors and Council Leaders representing Greater Manchester, Manchester, Liverpool City-Region, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle discussed recent Government statements about transport infrastructure investment and agreed the following statement:
Recent statements by the Secretary of State for Transport were unexpected and have caused confusion and concern.
They have created considerable uncertainty about Government promises already given for developments on the Trans-Pennine services.
Yesterday, further statements have raised fears over the Government's commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail, the future of the Northern Powerhouse itself, and indeed the government's stated aim of rebalancing the U.K. economy.
If the Government can't be trusted to stick to promises already given, then it is hard to have confidence that they will deliver longer term agreements made to the North.
The Government urgently needs to clarify its position on both short-term and long-term commitments to the North and confirm if it remains committed to the Northern Powerhouse and Transport for the North.
To develop our shared approach to these crucial issues we agreed to convene a summit for northern political and business leaders in late August, ahead of the return of Parliament.
We call on the Government to return to working constructively with us to correct long-term imbalances in transport funding and to give the people of the North the rail services they deserve and have been promised.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City-Region
Judith Blake, Leader, Leeds City Council
Julie Dore, Leader, Sheffield City Council
Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader, Newcastle City Council