Andy Burnham vows 'cross-party alliance' to level up North of England

21 November 2021, 12:59 | Updated: 21 November 2021, 14:09

By Seán Hickey

The Mayor of Greater Manchester promised to work across political lines to try and get HS2 links in the North of England back on track.

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Leaders from the North of England have spoken out this week in criticism of a government decision to scrap the North-Eastern leg of HS2 to Leeds.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham joined Tom Swarbrick to share his disappointment at the decision.

Read more: 'Total rubbish - I haven't broken promises to the North': Boris fires back at HS2 anger

"I'm trying to move things forward – i'm not just sounding off about it" he insisted, noting that the rollback of HS2 plans put further strain on the Manchester-Leeds line.

He explained that the east-west connection is a "core issue" that needs to be solved to bring much-needed capacity to the North.

Read more: HS2: Scrapping of Leeds leg will 'blight the life chances for millions of people'

Read more: Mum forced to sell 'forever home' for HS2 plans says govt caused 'unnecessary heartache'

"There are various issues here but at the core of it is this new line" he explained.

He then pledged to work across party lines to get the best for the people of the North of England.

Read more: Caller with home on proposed HS2 route 'absolutely delighted' it's axed

"I'm going to try and build a cross-party alliance across the north...to see if we can have a dialogue with the government to see if we can find alternative ways of financing it" Mr Burnham vowed.

"We've got to see this as investing in our places rather than just a narrow debate about cost."

"This isn't about politics,Tom, this is about the future of the North of England for the next century or more."

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