Today Grant Shapps ignored a Tory protest over the axing of key North rail lines – amid claims that passengers now have to endure’many decades’ worth delays and misery.

Despite Boris Johnson’s and other ministerial promises, the Transport Secretary flatly denied the breach of any promises after the HS2 extension to Leeds and the Northern Powerhouse line were cancelled.

By accusing critics, he was threatening to inflame the Conservative civil war.

This bullish attitude came after rail experts said that upgrading entire stretches of track rather than building new lines could be’massively disruptive. 

Richard Bowker, former chair of the Strategic Rail Authority, said it looked like the government was hoping to save about £40billion, but that might be optimistic and there would be ‘consequences’ for travellers.

He stated that a major challenge in upgrading existing rails was the cost, complexity, uncertainty, and disruption.

“It will lead to an incredible number of weekends engineering work, service changes, and most likely plenty of rail replacement buses.

It can take several years. Don’t let the misconception that updating the network can be done in a few hours. The exact opposite is true.

Grant Shapps today shrugged off a Tory outcry over axing key rail lines in the North - amid claims passengers will now face 'many years' of delays and misery

Grant Shapps, despite the Tory fury over his decision to close key North railway lines, brushed aside today’s Tory outcry. This was amid claims that passengers could now be facing’many many years’ of misery and delays.

Conservative MPs joined north leaders in a furious backlash to the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan. PM tried to defend the plan as an ambitious and unrivalled’ restructuring of inter-city transport links throughout the North and Midlands.

Johnson’s own MPs, including those in Red Wall seats, accused him of under-delivering and over-selling his promise to “level up” the country. After Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed to the Commons that ministers had scrapped the ‘eastern leg of HS2’ and downgraded plans for high speed rail in the North, it was triggered by Johnson’s own MPs.

Huw Merriman (Tory Chairman of Transport Select Committee) stated that the Prime Minister promised that Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 would be available. It will not be difficult for those in Leeds or Bradford to see it as either. Selling perpetual sunshine and then leaving it up to other people to explain its arrival is a danger.

Johnson was asked if he believed North people were stupid and had made promises. Johnson replied that Johnson is talking rubbish because Manchester and Leeds are now doubling their capacity. Between Liverpool and Manchester, we are doubling our capacity.

“Of Course, people will want all the things at once.

“There are many who will tell you that it is possible to carve massive new railroads in virgin territory and destroy unspoiled villages and countryside, all the while doing this simultaneously.

“The issue with this is that extra high-speed rail lines can take years and don’t provide the commuter benefits I am referring to. These will be possible one day.

Robbie Moore MP, Keighley West Yorkshire said he was bitterly disappointed at the way his constituents were ‘completely under-served. 

He stated that “We are the least socially connected part of the UK” and said: Northern Powerhouse Rail should still be delivered. We must do more. Economic success depends on the availability of good transportation links.

Kevin Hollinrake of Conservatives, who is also MP for Thirsk, Malton said that the Uturn will have a lasting impact on the lives of ‘generations,’ while stating that it was important to cut back the North’s high-speed railway.

Sir Edward Leigh (Tory MP and Gainsborough) said the axing HS2’s east spur was a sign that the project is now a ‘white elephant lacking a leg’. He said, “We were promised that it would alleviate congestion along the east coast mainline since it was going to Leeds.

A total of 30 Northern mayors and leaders including Andy Burnham from Manchester and Martyn Cock, leader of Bolton Council for Tory, wrote to Johnson asking him to give his plans a free vote in Parliament.

According to the letter, it stated: “Your decision is contrary to your ambitions to “level-up” North. It runs the risk that our regional economies will be held back and our plans for cutting carbon emissions may be compromised, days after Cop26.”

Integrated Rail plan documents show that some areas will benefit hugely from the changes - but others will not be doing as well as they had hoped

The documents for the Integrated Rail plan show that while some areas may see huge benefits from these changes, others won’t be as successful as they had hoped.

Burnham called the new plans “a Championship option” when he needed one for Premier League. Because you can’t level up North England with second-best, and this plan is clearly second-best.

Sir Keir starmer, Labour leader, stated that “This was the initial test of ‘levelling down’ and that the government had totally failed, and let down everyone in the North.”

According to the updated plans for HS2, Birmingham will not be connected with Leeds by the ‘eastern’ leg of the high-speed rail project.

It will be going from Birmingham, to East Midlands Parkway south-west Nottingham. There will also be HS2 trains joining the Midland Main Line. This line will be improved. Trains will make a stop in Sheffield. Future reviews will examine how they can be taken on to Leeds.

The plans to build a high speed line connecting Leeds to Manchester via Bradford were also scrapped.

Warrington is located between Liverpool and Manchester. It will be connected to Marsden in West Yorkshire by a new train. It will run via Manchester.

TransPennine will upgrade its line between Liverpool and Warrington as well as Marsden and Leeds.

Ministers claim that trains will travel between Leeds and Manchester in four minutes if they use a combination of upgrades and new tracks. Eight trains per hour will be running between these two cities once they are complete. These trains will be 33 minutes long, instead of 55.

Northern leaders however said that the original Government plans focused more on speed than capacity.

Henri Murison is the director of Northern Powerhouse Partnership. He stated: “The absence of a complete new line across Pennines will drastically reduce the capacity, and potential for rapid growth economic, especially in the cities Leeds and Bradford.”

Andy Bagnall is the chief of Rail Delivery Group which represents operators. He stated: “While many people will be able to benefit from the major investment in connectivity between the major cities of North England and Midlands, the absence of key pieces of this jigsaw won’t inevitably hinder the railways’ ability to drive the ‘levelling-up’ agenda and to achieve net zero.” [carbon emissions].’

Jim McMahon, Labour’s transport spokesperson said that Boris Johnson was elected in order to even the playing field and make life easier for all households. Although we were promised the Northern Powerhouse, what we got today was a train robbery.

HS2’s western leg’ which connects Birmingham and Manchester will continue in its entirety. A spur to Wigan that links trains to the West Coast mainline and to Scotland will also go ahead.