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HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail needed in the North

Words: Laura Edgar
Railway tracks / iStock-624925672

Business leaders across the north of England have called on the government to deliver both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) in full.

Linking NPR with phase 2b of HS2 (connecting Leeds and Manchester to the high-speed network) would provide a “significant” step to rebalancing the UK economy and eradicating the North-South divide.

Backing Northern Powerhouse Rail, by law firm Addleshaw Goddard and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, features the survey results:

  • 99 per cent of respondents believe NPR would raise productivity in the Northern Powerhouse.
  • 85 per cent believe NPR would increase inward investment.
  • 75 per cent state a commitment to NPR would allow them to make future investment decisions.
  • 62 per cent would recruit from a wider geographic area.
  • 43 per cent would look to expand or relocate to encourage growth.

Transport for the North has set out its plans to rebalance decades of underinvestment in transport in the north of England, including investing in Northern Powerhouse Rail.

It is thought that aligning NPR with HS2 phase 2b would provide faster journey times, enhanced capacity and greater frequency of services, better connecting cities in the North to create business growth and opportunities for young people.

Paul Hirst, head of transport at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “NPR is critical for a future thriving Northern economy, and this report demonstrates how strongly this sentiment is held across the business community.

“Businesses are motivated by the opportunities NPR will bring, and certainty of investment in NPR by the government will allow them to make key decisions now which will allow their organisations to grow and prosper in the future.”

Henri Murison, director at Northern Powerhouse Partnership, added: “Linking up the cities of the North with fast, frequent rail connections can deliver a major boost to productivity, creating a Northern Powerhouse as prosperous and successful as the South and opportunities for young people to access skilled jobs right across the North.”

Read more:

Plan published to rebalance underinvestment in Northern transport

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