After months of speculation and procrastination, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally given the green light for work to start on HS2.

In fairness to Mr Johnson, his announcement was in line with the bold and decisive decision making he’d promised in the lead up to December’s General Election.

And while work will now start in earnest on the controversial line between London and Birmingham – and new arrangements put in place for delivering the second phase to Manchester and Leeds – there hasn’t really been any real clarity of certainty it will, as intended, continue further North.

At face value, the phrase ‘delivered in full’ has come to suggest Manchester and Leeds, and an extension to Wigan.

The last phase, using upgraded existing lines to Glasgow, doesn’t really seem to factor into the debate.

And, for me, and many others, this the bit that really could be a gamechanger.

It not only needs to go North – it needs to go North North.

Of course, we have to see Mr Johnson’s decision as positive. Without phases one and two, there will be no phase three.

But being the last leg does give me the jitters given what’s happened so far with HS2’s general mismanagement.

The PM was the first to admit his decision was controversial and difficult. I can imagine it has been a pretty sizeable headache.

But then in light of the huge IOU he and his party owes the North, he had little room for manoeuvre. The backlash of not extending it further than Birmingham as early reports had suggested could be the case, would have been off the scale.

If they really are serious about rebalancing the economy and closing the dreaded North-South divide, then HS2 really ‘is it’.

We cannot end up with a partially delivered line that doesn’t do what it should be doing because all the money has been spent.

HS2 is without question dividing opinion – it has become the transport equivalent of Brexit.

Spiralling costs has been the main point of attack, and I have to agree the case is strong.

If £56 billion turning into £88bn isn’t bad enough then suggestions the cost could rise to £106bn is really is taking the biscuit.

We all know costing large-scale infrastructure projects is a difficult job, but HS2 Ltd really has stuffed it up good and proper.

If Northern is getting sacked for messing up its franchise, then HS2 Ltd needed a good hiding over the debacle.

I’m more positive about the potential for the line to go all the way – and hopefully include a stop in Carlisle – now they won’t be involved in delivering HS2 past Birmingham.

We can only hope, and pray, the new delivery arrangements the PM has in mind to ‘restore discipline’ and avoid any ‘further blowouts’ does a better job.

Because there is a real prize here – not just for the North but the North North.

While it is difficult to get away from the speed element, it isn’t the be all and end all.

The real goal has always been capacity, which could triple with HS2 according to the Department for Transport.

That really would be something given the existing network clearly isn’t working.

A fully delivered HS2 needs to link to a fully delivered Northern Powerhouse Rail network.

And the £500 million put aside by the Government to reinstate lines closed by Dr Beeching? A fair chunk of that needs to be coming North and those lines, along with existing ones of course, plugged in too.

At a time when the climate emergency is at the very top of the agenda, the need to cut car use and get people on to more sustainable modes of transport such as rail, is key. We certainly need to be keeping new road building to an absolute minimum.

And the need to better connect markets and entrepreneurs has never been greater as we forge forward into whatever the post Brexit world looks like.

Maybe I’m being unrealistic and expect too much.

Yes, it is going to be expensive. But I agree entirely with the CBI that the cost of not delivering it, and all the way to Glasgow, would be greater – ‘colossal’ even.

I am a believer in the magic money tree.

It seems to give up its treasures for projects in the south.

Now it is the North’s turn.