Transport chiefs in West Yorkshire have welcomed a vote to press ahead with the controversial HS2 rail link.
They insist it will provide a huge economic boost to the region after the plans were backed by MPs at Westminster.
But some MPs, including Huddersfield’s Barry Sheerman, are far from happy.
Mr Sheerman voted against the current plan in the Commons, while Dewsbury’s Simon Reevell abstained.
Mr Sheerman was appalled that the vote was backed by a majority, despite vociferous opposition from all parties.
“I was happy to be a rebel.
“When we hear talk of possibly closing an A&E service at either Huddersfield or Halifax, it is ludicrous that we then commit to a blank cheque which could be as much as £80 billion for what is no more than a vanity project.
“Talk to the people in Huddersfield; they want investment in homes, schools, hospitals and jobs.
“We need a fast and reliable rail service and this country does not need a super-fast train”
Welcoming the vote, Clr Peter Box, who chairs the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “By improving connectivity with other regions and providing much-needed additional capacity on our existing rail network, HS2 will provide a huge economic boost.
“Our research has shown that HS2 will deliver an additional £1bn per year to West Yorkshire’s economy which means more investment and as a result over 13,000 new jobs across the City Region.
“It is an opportunity that the Combined Authority is determined to seize and exploit but it is vital that the benefits to the north are felt across all the communities that we serve.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair Clr James Lewis said: “Improved connections between cities across the north are already underway with initiatives such as the electrification of the rail link between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York and we will be calling for similar developments on the Caldervale line through Bradford and Halifax to Manchester and the Harrogate Line to York.
“A study carried out by the Leeds and South Yorkshire City Regions has shown that increased capacity created through the integration of HS2 with an improved existing local rail could deliver up to £800m of extra benefits and additional investment in our existing road and rail networks will further increase that figure.”
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