I totally reject spending up to £70,000 million on a railway that will take 25 years to reach Leeds (what we call the Midlands!) with no plans to reach Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow.
The government should spend half, or even a quarter of the sum, in linking with faster track and trains the northern cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Carlisle – as well as the northern airports and ports (some of which were the great gateways to the empire).
As our trade with the declining European Union subsides and our trade with the rest of world increases, the north eastern and north western ports and airports are critical and investment in rail, road, sea and air would reap rich dividends.
Now that really would make a difference to the North.