Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has today claimed that the Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse, James Wharton MP, ‘underestimates the need for rail electrification across Teesside routes.’
In his response to a question about the shelving of electrification schemes in a House of Commons Business Questions for Communities and Local Government, James Wharton MP claimed that the Government’s Northern Powerhouse project was “not just about transport”.
“I am deeply concerned by this response from Mr Wharton. Businesses, think-tanks, local leaders and local commuters are more than aware that upgrading transport connections and the infrastructure remain key to the prosperity of the North East. The only person that seems to think otherwise is James Wharton.
“I’ve long campaigned for the electrification of Teesside railway lines and will continue to do so, but it is important that Government is on board.
“Following last week’s announcement to put on hold many railway upgrades, this will come as a double blow for commuters and businesses alike. If the Government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project is to be more than a sound-bite then we need to start seeing some action.”