A petition calling for the Government to put more money into transport services for Manchester and the North has been launched – and has the backing of the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
The move comes after plans to improve rail services by electrifying train lines between Manchester and Leeds were shelved by the transport minister.
But while Northern rail projects were downgraded, a £30bn Crossrail project to improve the situation in London is still set to go ahead.
The petition calls for Chris Grayling to pledge his backing for the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme – including a state-of-the-art 30-minute rail link between Manchester and Leeds – calling it a ‘Crossrail North’.
Other measures that the almost 36,000 signatories have asked for are an “immediate commitment to at least £59 billion ‘catch-up cash’ over the coming decade to support the transport priorities being developed by Transport for the North”, as well as giving “Transport for the North the same powers as those enjoyed by Transport for London”.
The petition, set up by thinktank IPPR North, says: “The government has announced its backing for the £31bn Crossrail 2 rail scheme in London just days after it has cancelled plans to electrify key rail routes, and rowed back on its long-standing commitment to electrify the trans-pennine link between Manchester and Leeds.
“Crossrail 2 was NOT in the Conservative Party Manifesto – whereas Northern Powerhouse Rail was.”
You can read the whole petition – and sign it if you agree – here.