Conservatives have launched a Transport Commission for the North of England to find out the transport priorities for South Yorkshire. The Commission was launched by William Hague and will examine how to improve all forms of transport including rail services. Conservatives have announced plans for high-speed rail links between Yorkshire and London taking just over an hour and a half.
What's wrong with this picture?
1. The proposed high speed rail runs from London to Leeds via Manchester, bypassing Sheffield completely. They should not for shame breathe a word of it round here.
2. This will be paid for by cutting to the bone maintenance and upgrades on the rest of the rail network, so we will see a degradation of our rail services.
3. The Midland Main line from Sheffield to London can run trains in 2 hours - the Master Cutler does this. But usually the trains stop everywhere, adding half an hour. Not great, but still not too bad. With upgrading and fewer stops this could be improved further.
The Conservatives have adopted a policy which is bad for Sheffield, and for most of the country, and shown no understanding of our transport situation - the real weaknesses are rail to Leeds and road and rail to Manchester. Trains to Manchester were quicker in the 1920s than they are now.
So they paste South Yorkshire into the text of a policy for Leeds, and hope nobody notices. This comes under the headline Working for you in South Yorkshire. No kidding. I dread to think what will happen when they start working against us, like Tories usually do.