Mr Jones is Deputy Chairman of the Rail in the North All Party Parliamentary Group and also Chair of the Northern Electrification Taskforce.
The scheme, known as HS3, is in the early phases of discussion but would involve improved journey times, rolling stock and services east to west across Northern England. The Prime Ministerial ‘green light’ follows a report from Sir David Higgins who is in charge of the HS2 scheme connecting the north and south by high-speed rail.
HS3 will now progress to the next stage which is working up options, costs and a timetable for delivery of the scheme.
Andrew Jones commented: For decades the North of England has been the poor relation when it comes to rail infrastructure. The new emphasis on east-west links shows that this is all changing.
That is good for commuters and good for business and the northern economy.
We all know that the success of the regional economy depends on good connectivity – whether that is broadband, road or rail. Improvements like HS3 will drive our economy forward and are a continuation of a significant government investment in rail.
Brian Dunsby, Chief Executive of Harrogate Chamber of Trade & Commerce said that he welcomed the Government’s new found commitment to investing in more high speed rail services from Leeds but it will be of little benefit to businesses and residents in Harrogate unless we have a much better local service on the Harrogate Line first.
Brian Dunsby said: Approval of our proposed electrification of the Harrogate Line with much faster more frequent modern rolling stock is a pre-requisite before any further expenditure on futuristic designs of high speed trains that are likely to be at least 20 years away.
For more details of the current plans for upgrading services on the Harrogate line send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org