Primary option announced for NPR route between Liverpool and Manchester

The route of Northern Powerhouse Rail is set to include Warrington Bank Quay and Manchester Airport, following extensive discussions between the Department for Transport and local leaders in the north west, including MPs.

The DfT said it was announcing the ‘next steps’ for NPR between Liverpool and Manchester, and that the Warrington-Manchester Airport route is now the ‘primary option’.

However, it is not yet definite. The Government said it will ‘continue to assess alternatives which meet the objectives of Northern Powerhouse Rail, in line with standard requirements for business case approvals’.

It continued: ‘Any scheme must be affordable and demonstrate value for money for the taxpayer, while seeking to support the rail capacity needs of central Manchester and deliver faster journey times and better connectivity across the North.’

It added that capacity could also be trebled between Liverpool and Leeds, offering 2,100 extra seats an hour in each direction.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: ‘Today we are setting out the next steps for how we can transform east-west rail links in the North, helping to boost economic growth between key Northern cities as part of our Network North plan.

‘I thank local leaders and local MPs for sharing their views and facilitating constructive conversations. I have heard a clear consensus which means we can now take another crucial step towards delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail, part of this Government’s plan to boost rail capacity, deliver faster journey times and offer better connectivity across the North.’

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