A PLAN for a 180mph rail link from West Yorkshire to London would be a godsend for Kirklees.
That’s the view of Kirklees Council leader Clr Robert Light.
He was speaking after the Conservatives pledged to ditch plans for a third runway for London’s Heathrow airport and invest in the new rail link between London and the North.
He said it would be an “economic lifeline” for Kirklees and the wider region.
Clr Light was at the Tories’ recent national conference to hear and support the announcement by Theresa Villiers, the Shadow Transport Secretary.
The £15.6bn high-speed link to and from St Pancras would connect with Birmingham and the North of England, including Manchester and Leeds, and could replace up to 66,500 flights a year.
Clr Light said: “This brilliant and innovative proposal would provide a huge lift, both economically and in terms of access, for people to a better and more cost-effective transport system between the North of England, London and the South in general and the national economic core of London in particular.”
The Tories’ Parliamentary candidate for the Colne Valley also said he fully backed the rail plan.
Jason McCartney said such a link would benefit Huddersfield.
He said: “The rail link would bring a lot of economic prosperity to the Huddersfield area because business people would be able to get here a lot quicker.
“It would open up extra business opportunities.”
The proposed link would cut the travel time from Leeds to Manchester from 55 minutes to 17.
Journeys from Leeds to London would be reduced from two hours 20 minutes to one hour 37 minutes.
The Conservatives have pledged to spend £15.6bn on the plan. Work would start in 2015 and finish in 2027.
Mr McCartney said: “This would be good news for our region. Transport is a big issue because the M62 and the M1 are clogged.
“Hopefully our proposal would also stop people taking flights between Leeds and London,” he added.