Councillor Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, inset on a picture of the Guildhall
Councillor Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council.

Hull City Council leader calls on Secretary of State for update on rail electrification 

Councillor Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, has (today) written to the Secretary of State for Transport to seek clarification on when the government expect electrification of the Hull to Leeds rail line to take place.

Hull City Council has been working with its partners at Transport for the North and Network Rail, alongside the Department for Transport and neighbouring local authorities, to develop proposals to electrify the lines from Hull to Leeds as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.  

However, following last week’s announcement of the termination of the HS2 leg to Manchester and a redirection of funding towards the development of Network North, Cllr Ross’s letter seeks clarification on funding for delivery and assurance that electrification of the line still remains a priority. 

In the letter, Cllr Ross says: “Electrification of the line to Hull has been a top priority for many years. 

“It is a project that the council has been championing and working very hard on with partners and, setting aside any comments on the cancellation of HS2, I am delighted that it has been recognised as part of the Network North plan as a priority to take forward for delivery. 

“It will support the expansion of the port of Hull, our growing green energy industry, as well as support our wider economic growth and future development aspirations.” 

Cllr Ross goes on to highlight the crucial part future transport links to Hull and East Riding will play in current devolution deal negotiations with the government, adding: “We are also seeking confirmation and clarification on these points as an important part of our devolution negotiations with the Department of Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities.” 

Reliable rail connectivity is crucial for Hull’s economic growth, and if rail electrification goes ahead, it could potentially put 1.1million people and 31,000 businesses within 90 minutes of Hull. 

As well as cutting journey times from Hull to Leeds from 57 minutes to 38 minutes, electrification would also make travel more environmentally friendly, reliable and ensure that new rolling stock could run right across the network. 

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