NORTHERN leaders say that they “cannot continue to wait” for the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan - expected to outline commitment to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail - and that the plan should fully incorporate the North’s priorities.

Transport for the North members discussed how rail investment and electrification was fundamental to tackling climate change, creating jobs and unleashing the North’s economic potential.

Tim Wood, the group’s interim chief executive, said: “The North has already set out its vision for the future in a transport strategy that all of our leaders are signed up to.

“Now we need clarity and firm commitment from then Government on delivering that strategy.”

It follows publication of the Government’s white paper on the Plan for Rail, which will see the creation of Great British Railways as a single national organisation to oversee track and train.

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham said that the North should also be making the case for direct supervision of rail services spanning the Pennines to ensure national attention is not focused elsewhere.

Department for Transport and Network Rail representatives said that they will “work closely to involve regional leaders”.