Northern council leaders have urged Prime Minister Theresa May to carry on with the HS2 development as the regions are in need of investment.
While there are currently fears that the project could be scrapped or limited due to a possible post-referendum downturn, council leaders from the Northern regions of the UK say that the scheme is vital to the revival of their region’s economy.
The councillors said in a letter to Mrs May and the relevant cabinet ministers: “We need HS2 to reach the North as soon as it can, supported by radically improved inter-city road and rail links across the region and significant investment in local transport plans to ensure every part of the region can benefit from these improved transport links.”
Chris Grayling, the new transport secretary, has backed the high speed line from Birmingham to London and then from Manchester to Leeds.
However, the National Audit Office has warned that the scheme could be delayed because of its “overambitious” timetable.
Almost all northern council leaders and local enterprise partnership chairs signed the letter and also requested more local control over skills training to ensure that they have a workforce that is tuned in with the requirements of a growing economy.
The letter also pointed to the Northern Independent Economic Review, which has outlined paths to help improve the economy of the region in various industries including health innovation, advanced manufacturing, digital and energy.
It said: “We hope you will commit your government to continue to work with us and to provide the investment…to make sure the North can achieve its economic, social and environmental potential.”
Andrew Percy has been appointed minister for the Northern Powerhouse in the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Meanwhile, last month it was announced that Sheffield City Council had secured a victory with the announcement that the city’s HS2 station is to be built in the centre of Sheffield rather than at Meadowhall.