The Institute of Economic Affairs *(IEA) *has dismissed George Osborne's idea of a new high-speed rail network for the North, calling it a "costly vanity project".
“The relatively short distances between northern cities mean high-speed rail is an expensive and inefficient way of linking them. Because northern conurbations are spread out geographically and include numerous different towns, high-speed trains between the largest city centres would make little difference to door-to-door journey times for a high proportion of travellers.
“The Chancellor should focus on smaller-scale schemes that deliver high returns for the taxpayer or, better still, that can be financed privately, rather than concocting a headline-grabbing vanity project to attract votes.
“Not content with wasting tens of billions on the loss-making HS2 scheme, George Osborne is now threatening to compound the error by forcing taxpayers to fund HS3.”
More top news
The singer confirmed she had welcomed her first child in an announcement on the eve of Mother's Day.
Emma Jesson brings you Saturday night's forecast
Teaching Assistants have marched through Durham in a dispute over pay. They claim council plans could cost them thousands of pounds.