Reports are that Chancellor George Osborne is pushing a proposal for a high speed line, "HS3", between Manchester and Leeds. This is conclusive proof that the man is clueless. This is a typical politician's response.
There is no advantage in running faster than 100 mph between
destinations less than 50 miles apart. There are no further useful time
savings to be made. Frequent trains and good local connections are
needed. That means a programme of platform-lengthening, junction improvements, and possibly, new routes, but high speed does not come into this. Loading-gauge enhancements to take double-deck trains would be nice to have but the trouble is that the routes on which they could operate would be badly restricted.
Equally important in this context is the need to improve local connections through the development of bus and light rail services, as well as park-and-ride facilities.