The leaders and mayors of cities across the north have agreed to convene a summit to make the case for TransPennine rail electrification, ahead of the return of parliament in September.
Northern political and business leaders will meet in late August to develop a shared approach to much needed improvements on the line.
The announcement comes after recent comments from the secretary of state appeared to cast doubt on commitment to the previously promised electrification of the TransPennine route.
Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake, said:
“Anyone who has travelled on Leeds to Manchester trains knows how slow and overcrowded they are.
“Suggestions new part-diesel trains are now being considered instead of full electrification are a particular concern given the impact we now know diesel has on air quality and people’s health.
“We are also hugely concerned that the government appeared to confirm support for Crossrail 2 in London, only days after apparently backtracking on plans for the TransPennine route.
“We have called this summit so towns and cities across the north can speak with one voice to make clear how damaging it would be to abandon electrification of the line, before parliament returns this autumn.”
Council leaders and mayors representing Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle yesterday discussed recent statements about transport infrastructure investment and agreed to call the summit of political and business leaders from across the north.
A recent study by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) North, showed Yorkshire and the Humber would have received £59bn more in infrastructure spending over the last decade if spending per person had matched that of London.