Have, not for the first time, been a bit erratic with blogging since the summer but am determined to " catch up " this week. I'm going to go back almost two weeks to Economy Scrutiny, a Transport themed meeting, and a presentation on progress with HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The latter consists of a range of proposals for improving trans Pennine connectivity, including a new line, starting in Liverpool, joining HS2 just south of the Airport, coming to a new station at Piccadilly, before going on via Bradford to Leeds.
The design of the new station at Piccadilly is crucial. The preference of the City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Transport for the North is for an underground station beneath the the HS2 station. This takes less land, hence more room for jobs and homes, but more importantly gives room for future growth. The new rail infrastructure is for the rest of this century and beyond. A short-sighted decision to save money now by cutting off growth potential in the future would be nothing short of scandalous.
Having mentioned Leeds, I missed, for only the second time in almost twenty years, the Council's own Awards for Excellence, to travel over to that fair city for the Yorkshire Society's annual awards. There I received on behalf of the Council a special award from the Society in recognition of the response to the Arena bomb in May. We often don't appreciate just how wide-spread the impact was. Sadly, five people resident in Yorkshire lost their lives, another twenty were hospitalised, and so far, over four hundred Yorkshire residents have sought support as a consequence of those tragic events. Even so, recognition from Yorkshire for Manchester is very special indeed.