Labour shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh has contrasted rail service cuts in the north to improvements made in the south east, asking “what message” it sends to the public.

The MP told the Commons: “On Monday I was in Bradford meeting local school children left stranded by cuts to Northern Rail services that came into effect on Sunday. In Wakefield some passengers will face a four-hour gap in services between 6am and 10am.

“The Transport Secretary hasn’t said a word about these cuts to Northern Rail, but he has spent his week boasting about new routes in Sevenoaks. Of course the south east needs routes like the rest of the country, but what kind of message does that send to our northern communities.

“And if ministers meant a single word of what they have said about levelling up then will they commit to urgently restore these services to the north to pre-pandemic levels?”

Responding to the minister’s concerns, Transport minister Trudy Harrison said: “Of course we will keep everything under review, and in terms of the support for rail services in the north… £16 billion and also £96 billion in the integrated rail review for improved services.”