Responding to Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain in Parliament during the ‘mini-budget’, the Chancellor has agreed to meet with Imran to discuss Northern Powerhouse Rail, putting the project back on the Government’s agenda after it was shelved by the ex-Transport Secretary last year.

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) was a planned high-speed, high-capacity rail line similar to HS2 and the Crossrail network in London which would have linked Manchester and Leeds with a stop at a new city centre station in Bradford. However, despite substantial economic benefits and support from local leaders, businesses and rail experts, plans to build NPR in full were scrapped by the Government in November 2021 as part of their Integrated Rail Plan.

Despite the project being shelved by the Government, Imran has continued to press Ministers to reverse their decision and look again at plans to build NPR in full through Bradford, and on Friday (23 September 2022) he pressed the new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng MP during his ‘mini-budget’ to include NPR as part of the major infrastructure projects that the Government wishes to accelerate.

Following this intervention, the Chancellor stated that infrastructure projects, such as the NPR project, are critically important to boosting the UK’s economic growth, and despite the Government cancelling the project last November, agreed to meet with Imran to discuss NPR.

Speaking on the Chancellor’s commitment to meet with him to put Northern Powerhouse Rail back on the agenda, Imran said:

“For years, this Conservative Government have been talking about investing in infrastructure in the North, but we’ve seen so little return for so much talk, and we were all deeply disappointed and even angered last November when the ex-Transport Secretary pulled the plug on Northern Powerhouse Rail for Bradford.

“It’s simply impossible to underestimate just how important the building of Northern Powerhouse Rail through Bradford is for the District, as it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to Bradford and highlights that we are a key place to invest, to do business, and to invest, even before a single piece of track is even laid.

I am therefore pleased that the new Chancellor has seen some sense and put Northern Powerhouse Rail, a project that everyone thought was dead after it was cancelled in November, back on their agenda. I am looking forward to meeting with the Chancellor shortly, where I’ll press him to commit to building Northern Powerhouse Rail, through Bradford, in full.”

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