Liz Truss has said Bradford will get a new station on the high-speed railway line to be built between Liverpool and Hull.
In an interview with ITV Calendar filmed on Sunday afternoon, the Prime Minister was asked if her commitment to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) in full meant a new line from Liverpool to Hull with a stop in the West Yorkshire city.
“It does,” she replied. “It will stop at Bradford. I’m very clear about that.”
The Prime Minister has previously indicated she would reverse the decision to curtail NPR, a scheme to improve rail connections between Liverpool and Leeds.
Transport for the North, which advises the Government on the region’s transport needs, recommended that new lines should be built between the cities.
But the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan sparked outrage among northern leaders in November last year when it revealed that a new line would only be built on one section, with the rest of the route getting enhancements to existing lines.
Bradford and Hull were both excluded.
Ms Truss said the Government will set out the timetable to deliver NPR “in due course”.
West Yorkshire’s Mayor Tracy Brabin welcomed the move.
“This latest U-turn is good news for Bradford and West Yorkshire. It’s something we have been calling for for a long time,” she tweeted.
“We’ve heard the promises before from previous governments, but I look forward to working with Government to deliver it as soon as possible.”
NEW: PM Liz Truss tells @itvcalendar she will build a new electric railway line between Liverpool and Hull with a stop in Bradford.
It's a u-turn on the government's £98bn integrated rail plan and the full northern powerhouse rail project northern leaders have long called for. pic.twitter.com/9E8szdd2aw
— Harry Horton (@harry_horton) October 3, 2022
Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh was less confident Ms Truss would follow through on her pledge.
She tweeted: “The Tories have promised *60* times to deliver HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in full.
“At every opportunity they’ve failed.
“Given Liz Truss’s short record so far as PM, we’ll believe it when we see it.”
In the interview, Ms Truss also vowed to “engage with all parties” in an effort to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport which is due to close.
“I’m very disappointed to hear what’s been announced about the airport. And what I want to do is make sure we engage with all parties to see how we can find a way forward. Regional airports are incredibly important,” she said.
She and the Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan “will be saying more” after the talks.
Ms Trevelyan told a Tory conference fringe event on Monday that “for 20 years this has not been a profitable airport”.
“We’re not going to go and buy the airport, that’s not what this Government’s about,” she said.
On fracking, the Prime Minister vowed that the Government “will only go ahead in areas of local support”.
“That is something the Business Secretary is looking at to make sure that any fracking that does go ahead does command support of local people,” Ms Truss told ITV Calendar, without going into detail on how local consent will be measured.