A PLAN to improve transport in the north of England has been unveiled today.
Transport for the North has published its strategic transport plan for consultation, identifying an 'emerging vision' for Northern Powerhouse Rail which includes a line connecting Liverpool with HS2 at Manchester, a new line between Manchester and Leeds, upgrades on the Hope Valley Line and upgrades for the existing routes from Leeds and Sheffield to Hull. Better access to Manchester Airport is also highlighted, along with multimodal hubs to improve the movement of goods.
TfN chairman John Cridley said: "Through its Industrial Strategy and Northern Powerhouse Strategy, the Government has made clear its commitment to the Northern economy. The size of the prize is simply too large to ignore for the future prosperity of the UK, and this Plan is our way of making sure that the £100 billion economic benefit and 850,000 jobs can happen."
The railway industry has welcomed the plans, although the CBI has sounded a warning that other regions also need to work with central government to make sure that they are not left behind.
Railway Industry Association chief executive Darren Caplan said: “These improvements are all vital in improving connectivity and spurring jobs and investment. Now, TfN – working alongside the Government and various industry partners – needs to develop the business case for these improvements so that we can start getting spades in the ground – in order for both the region and the country to feel the economic benefits as soon as possible.”
CBI managing director for infrastructure and people Neil Carberry added: “The publication of Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan is a significant milestone in delivering the infrastructure that is needed to boost productivity across the whole of the north. Their plans for improved connections between the towns, cities and economic centres that will drive long-term growth, reflect many of the priorities highlighted by businesses in the north.
“Reaching this stage is a testament to the hard work and collaboration of elected and business leaders, who will be looking to see progress continue at pace.
“It is now for other areas and central government to work together to ensure that no region is left behind by the regional growth agenda.”