REACTION to plans to vastly improve connectivity across the North of England, and turn the region into an ‘economic powerhouse’ countering London and the South East, has been intriguingly diverse – ranging from strong support in some Northern areas, much criticism in other Northern districts, and London-centric commentators drawing attention to ancient feudal and cultural differences between Northern towns and cities and, even, the Wars of the Roses.
Support for the plans, involving rail, roads and waterways which would cost up to £15 billion over the next 15 years, has come mainly from the ‘city regions’ with ‘combined authorities’ – Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sheffield – that worked together to produce the proposals . . . while criticism has come mostly from other parts of the North not within city regions and not having combined authorities, such as Hull and Middlesbrough. Continue reading