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Northern transport: everyday improvements matter as much as fast new lines

High speed routes are welcome but small, practical efforts can also boost train travel and revitalise communities

By Rachel Reeves   October 2019

The indignity of a pacer train. Photo; Richard Woodward/PA Wire/PA Images

When Boris Johnson promised to fund “Northern Powerhouse Rail,” I took his pledge with a large pinch of salt. While a new TransPennine rail route may be necessary, is it sufficient to address the needs of communities like the one I represent in Leeds?

Three years ago, Leeds got its first new train station in 30 years, at Kirkstall Forge. Part funded by a commercial property developer and part by Leeds city council, the station exceeded its forecast number…

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