MAG statement on the future of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail - 3 October 2023

Ken O’Toole, MAG CEO said: "It would be wrong of the Prime Minister to abandon the commitments the Government has made to deliver HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) – the North needs better connectivity to drive its economy forward.

“For more than a decade, the Government has told the country that rebalancing the economy is one of its top priorities. It sold the country its vision for a new industrial revolution in the North, with high-value industries competing on the global stage and creating jobs and prosperity for everyone who lives and works there. 

“It painted a picture of a super-connected North, where people and businesses in all parts of the region could realise their ambitions. It empowered the North to develop the plan that would unleash its potential and repeatedly backed HS2 and NPR as the projects that would do just that.

“During that time, the North’s growth and productivity has been stifled by outdated rail infrastructure, but people were reassured that the blueprint for its bright and prosperous future was being advanced. 

“The U.K. needs a bold and ambitious plan for unlocking the potential of the North and rebalancing the national economy. That plan should integrate a modern rail network with the global connectivity provided by Manchester Airport. We call on government to work with business and political leaders to ensure that vision is delivered.

“If that connected transport network is not delivered, then more than a decade of laying the foundations for the North’s future will have been wasted, and people and businesses of the region would understandably feel let down and misled.”