The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government's announcement of a review into HS2 as 'predictable' and a 'failure for the North'.
The comments from senior Liberal Democrats in the North come as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today (21/08/19) announced a review into the project, with the promise of a "go-or-no-go" decision by the end of the year.
This is despite rail infrastructure across the North being in the worst state for decades and in desperate need of upgrades.
Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West Jane Brophy said:
“We warned from the start that the Tories’ long-term indecision on HS2 will cost taxpayers heavily and fail Northerners.
“The Liberal Democrats have always been in favour of HS2 but we have been absolutely clear that construction should have started in the North.
“That way, when the project inevitably encountered the issues it has, the areas most in need of infrastructure upgrades would have received them first.
“However, as things stand, rail links in London and the South will still be upgraded, whilst Northern links are left in their dire 1970s state – as usual."
John Leech, who was on the Transport Select Committee during HS2's early stages, first called for the project to begin in Manchester in a heated debate over a decade ago. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Manchester added:
“The Lib Dems have been calling for the North to get its fair share of upgraded railways for decades now. Whilst our calls have gone ignored, prices are higher and trains are worse than ever before.
"This is a frankly predictable failure from a London-obsessed Government.
"Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to fixing our railways and closing the North/South funding gap."