BRADFORD is still waiting for commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail - with a new station in the city centre - following today's Budget and Spending Review announcement.

Leaders have warned that ongoing uncertainty around the project is undermining business confidence and while West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin welcomed £830 million of transport investment, she said it was "only part of the answer".

She said the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) which will set out the Government’s vision for the region’s railways, was a "glaring and disappointing omission". 

Ms Brabin said: "Whilst we welcome the Government’s local transport plans, with a much needed £830m investment, it’s only part of the answer. 

"There was nothing today on HS2 East, and nothing on Northern Powerhouse Rail, with that crucial stop in central Bradford.

"Both projects are vital to improving connections between the great cities of the North and Midlands. We’re told they are coming soon, but the watered-down versions that are rumoured are not acceptable."

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said funding for local transport schemes will be a "huge boost", but added: "There is still a huge hole in the Government’s plans for levelling up with no clear commitment to either HS2 or a new Northern Powerhouse Rail line through Bradford in today’s speech.

"Until the IRP is published, uncertainty will continue to undermine business confidence and put a dampener on attracting investment to the north of England.”

Mr Murison has spoken of his concern that plans which do not include NPR, with a new station in Bradford, and the full delivery of HS2 will result in "levelling down rather than levelling up".

Marcus Johns, research fellow at think tank IPPR North said the failure to mention Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2’s Eastern Leg "is a shackle on the North’s future, raising again the Treasury’s long-term reluctance to invest in the North and get us on track to a more prosperous future".

He added: “The absence of the Levelling Up White Paper and Integrated Rail Plan by this budget mean that there is still no strategy, framework, or leadership behind levelling up funding promises and little clarity is available for the North’s mayors and local leaders for their ambitions after the pandemic.”

Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon tweeted: "No announcement on the big projects promised repeatedly for the North of England, including HS2 Eastern Leg, and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). Believe me, if it was good news it would have been in #Budget2021 today."