The final insult – Government’s Network North funds pothole repairs in London

The government has been mocked by business and political leaders after revealing that the so-called post-HS2 Network North transport plan will include millions of pounds for repairs to roads … in London.

The Department For Transport announced “£235 million in extra funding has been redirected from HS2 to resurface roads across the capital over the next 11 years”.

A tweet by the department, branded Network North and boasting of the London road spend, was taken down after being ridiculed by thousands of social media users.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said on BBC Radio Manchester he first thought it was a parody account.

He tweeted: “A Parliament which began with promises of levelling up ends with money promised to the North being redirected back to London.”

A Conservative Party campaign, aimed at road users has also been tweeted by Transport Minister Mark Harper, claiming “we are directing £8.3billion of HS2 savings to improve local roads.”

Former Siemens UK chief executive Juergen Maier said: “And it gets sold to the nation as ‘tough decisions for the long term’. Really? Hoping we can return to a strategy…”

Partly as a response, an independent Rail and Urban Transport Review has been established to examine how a future government could accelerate connectivity within and between the UK’s key urban areas.

The review has been commissioned by the Labour Party and is being led by industry heavyweight Maier who is also vice chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Leeds-based Urban Transport Group has been appointed the Secretariat for the review, lending administration and technical support. This will be alongside engineering consultants Arup who will be providing expertise and thought leadership to the review.

The review will explore four core themes including: growth opportunity through unlocking planning; clarity and certainty of policy and funding; devolution and sustainable partnerships; private sector and industry capacity.