Liberal Democrats have slammed the delay of HS2 as a 'shambles' and a 'monumental failure for the North'.
The comments from senior Liberal Democrats in the North come as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today announced that phase two of the project has been pushed back to 2040.
This is despite rail infrastructure across the North being in the worst state for decades and in desperate need of upgrades.
The second phase to Manchester and Leeds was due to open in 2032.
Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West Jane Brophy said:
“The Tories’ long-term indecision and incompetence was always going to cost taxpayers and fail Northerners the most.
“The Liberal Democrats have always been absolutely clear that HS2 construction should have started in the North. Then, when the project inevitably encountered the issues it has, the areas most in need of infrastructure upgrades would have received them first.
“However, as things stand, rail links in London and the South will still be upgraded, whilst Northern links are left in their dire 1970s state – as usual."