The director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership has called for a commitment to HS2, following on from the Financial Times' publication of a government-commissioned review into the rail link.
Henri Murison said: "The North’s civic and business leaders have argued tirelessly that major infrastructure investment is so badly needed to provide the capacity so urgently needed on our rail network as well as delivering the transformational economic growth the Northern Powerhouse needs to compete on the global stage.
"By better integrating the last phase with Northern Powerhouse Rail we will ensure that we get the maximum possible benefits, with the so called Y network to Leeds, Manchester and beyond on an upgraded conventional network the key economic driver because of increased capacity, not principally speed.
"This is a seminal moment in the modern history of the UK. Any failure to seize this opportunity would be a betrayal of the North, and the promise of a Northern Powerhouse. Time to level up the country and close the North-South divide."