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Labour proposes a Crossrail for the North

Words: Laura Edgar

Labour would invest in a “Crossrail for the North”, a series of rail improvements across existing west-east links in the north of England, said shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Speaking at Labour’s economic conference in Liverpool, McDonnell said the party would reverse decades of underinvestment in Northern transport infrastructure that has “undermined” the economic potential of the north of England and help deliver 850,000 new jobs by 2050.

The current Conservative government, he said, has failed to invest in essential electrification of Hull to Selby, as well as other lines, and delayed the electrification of the Manchester-Leeds Transpennine route.

A Labour government would, alongside its mayoral candidate and local authorities, demand that “the Westminster government” brings forward the resources to help unlock the £97 billon of economic potential in the North.

McDonnell said: “Labour is absolutely committed to delivering HS3, a Crossrail for the North, starting right here in Liverpool and connecting the great cities of the north of England.

“There is so much potential here currently squandered by underinvestment, delays and a lack of real commitment from Whitehall."

He said the commitment from Labour in the North is worth at least £10 billion.

“It means the journey from Manchester to Leeds will take just 25 minutes, instead of close to an hour. Or you could get from Liverpool to Manchester in 25 minutes.

“Crossrail for the North will become the foundations for a transformed Northern economy,” he concluded.

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