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North sets out £5 billion infrastructure pipeline

Words: Huw Morris
Leeds station

A £5 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects to create 20,000 jobs has been set out by transport and business leaders in the North of England.

Transport for the North’s (TfN) initial plans for a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) is a 30-year investment plan of major projects to underpin greener growth in the region.

The pipeline includes rail, road, active travel and smart-ticketing proposals that TfN says could be started over the next 6-18 months to help the government’s “build back better” drive after the Covid-19 pandemic, and create around 20,000 construction and design jobs in the north of England.

The NIP underpins TfN’s proposed Economic Recovery Plan (ERP), recently agreed by the North’s business and civic leaders, which comprises a first tranche of 166 projects. The ERP aims to accelerate infrastructure delivery by making transport more accessible and inclusive. It is also aimed at decarbonising the economy, rebuilding and transforming the capacity and resilience of the North’s rail network.

“Our focus must be on rebuilding the North’s economy, which was already at an economic disadvantage to the South before Covid-19 hit,” said TfN chief executive Barry White. “Our Economic Recovery Plan outlines quick-fire ways to rapidly invest in shovel-ready infrastructure projects and initiatives, helping rebuild and transform the North over the next few years.

“We believe that’ll not only deliver an economic prize, to the tune of 20,000 jobs and a return of £3 for every £1 spent, but – more importantly – a social return. It’ll help better connect communities, slash carbon emissions from transport in the North and support people in living healthier lives.

“Crucially, these aren’t new or over-ambitious asks. They’re projects already in the system that now need the starting gun firing or a bit of work to nudge them across the line.”

The full list of schemes can be found in the Transport for the North board papers, starting at page 177

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