Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands

Bradford Interchange Station

The government’s plan for delivering and sequencing major rail investment in the North and Midlands was published yesterday.

The fact that HS2 will not reach Yorkshire and that Northern Powerhouse Rail has also been considerably watered down should come as no great surprise. Combined, these two projects might have done something to remedy Yorkshire’s totally inadequate public transport infrastructure, but delivery would still have been years away. Now, yet another opportunity has been lost.

The problem is that public transport in Yorkshire is inadequate. The Integrated Rail Plan only seeks to address some of the issues by applying inappropriate national solutions to regional and local issues. Local and regional rail services are often provided by national services which means that trains do not always run when people want them, they are expensive, often unreliable, slow and overcrowded.

National services need to be supplemented and supported by adequate regional and local systems which could include light rail and buses as well as trains. In many areas of Yorkshire regional systems do not exist and local systems are basic at best. It takes over 90 minutes for the train to travel from Driffield to York which is a distance of about 28 miles by road. The Integrated Rail Plan will do next to nothing for East Yorkshire. It does not look as though it will do much for Bradford either.

We need a speedy, efficient, affordable, reliable regional public transport system which goes where people want to go when they need to travel. This would need to be integrated into national and local systems operating to similar standards. At the moment we have none of these essentials and it looks as though things are likely to stay that way.

This could leave Yorkshire at a strategic economic disadvantage. Levelling up??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *