Letter: Rail - Soldier on with sub-standard line

Harrogate Train Station. (1401205AM1)
Harrogate Train Station. (1401205AM1)

I can only anticipate another setback for the “fabled” electrification of the Leeds–Harrogate line with the announcement this week of postponement of part of the £2.8bn Great Western electrification project.

This was supposed to electrify lines in the Cardiff, Bath, Bristol and Newbury area.

This postponement is added to the other postponements of the Midland line between Kettering and Sheffield and the Trans-Pennine route from Manchester to Leeds. All were supposed to have been concluded by 2019.

Of course, having been promised much by the report from the last Government’s Northern Electrification Task Force in early 2015 (with Andrew Jones MP as chairman), which recommended our line for “Tier One” investment, there was then rather a quick U-turn on the plan in the summer of 2015, after the General Election.

I suppose this Brexit business is rather eating up time and resources of the Government and civil service as the Government strives to “magick up” a plan for something rather huge and all-consuming that they never thought would happen.

But I suppose we can take cheer that another announcement will appear in time for 2020 to let us know we are “Tier One” again, handily timed for the next General Election.

Until then we soldier on in having to cope with a substandard line and an ever-widening divide in the standard of train services between London and the Southeast and just about everywhere else.

Helen Flynn

Lib Dem PPC for Harrogate and Knaresborough