Campaigners disappointed as HS2 announcement set to skip the North East

Artist impression of the HS2 rail line. Credit: Department for Transport

A £96 billion plan to update the rail network across the North will be announced today - but it looks like the North East will miss out.

As part of blueprints to level up the North, the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) is the biggest ever public investment in the rail network.

The Government says it will mean faster journeys and strengthened connections between major cities in the North and the Midlands.

However, the plans look at transforming journeys to and between the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West - leaving campaigners disappointed that it will not extend to the North East.

"I'm really concerned that the North East is never going to get the HS2 services it was promised." says Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison.

The shadow secretary of state for transport Jim McMahon also believes that the region isn't going to recieve the level of investment it needs to thrive.

"This is not an investment in the North" He told Times Radio.

"So the idea that we should be grateful for what we're given, that the Prime Minister will do a tour of the North and the Midlands, claiming some kind of victory, I'm afraid is an insult."

"We are ultimately paying the price of 11 years of Conservative Government where we've seen divert and delay and the action just hasn't followed through. It's important to say though the £96 billion that has been announced by the Government, £40 billion of that isn't investment in the north of England at all - that's the Euston to Crewe link."