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TSSA Leader warns HS2 North imperial following departure of Terry Morgan

30 November 2018

Responding to news that the Chair of HS2 and CrossRail Terry Morgan has stood down after just 4 months in the HS2 job, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said, "It was always nuts to have one person responsible for heading up both these enormous infrastructure projects. More so now that both are not on target.

It would be my preference that going forward we must have a single person responsible for each separate rail project. Because Terry didn't feel the job was right for him doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the projects.

"My big fear is that blaming "spiralling costs", is Tory code for more infrastructure cuts to come. That won't affect CrossRail because it's in the South. It probably won't even affect the first stage of HS2 between London and Birmingham. But the second phase between Birmingham and Leeds - which is not due to be begin being built til 2027 - may now be in peril.

"The Tories really don't really care about putting adequate investment into rail services, which is why Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling cancelled long scheduled electrification upgrades to track in South Wales across the East Midland and the TransPennine routes. The North of Britain cannot be empowered without new and powered supply lines.

"Terry's departure after just 20 weeks in the job suggests he knows the task is beyond him without government backing. I wish him luck, but unless Chris Grayling's head rolls we can expect more of the same tale of rail woes as long as the Tories keep their tenuous grip on power.

"Commuters lives, the economic life of the North, the recalibration of our economy, the restoration of Northern power all requires new power rail lines and major government investment. For that we need a Labour government committed to bring true generational change to our railways. Bring on that General Election."

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