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01/05/2019

Northern MPs write to Hammond about transport investment

Words: Laura Edgar
The north of England / iStock-842196164

Over 80 MPs have written to chancellor Philip Hammond to start the debate about what is needed regarding a commitment to the full Transport for the North Strategic Plan.

The letter also calls for a commitment to devolved transport budgets to city and metro regions.

The letter was prepared at the request of the co-chairs of the Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group (NP APPG), which comprises Conservative and Labour MPs, peers, business and civic leaders.

They think Northern Powerhouse rail should be delivered to the North alongside HS2, to create a high-speed network for the whole of the country and open up labour markets that are currently inaccessible for young people across the North.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton and co-chair of the NP APPG, said: “As well as faster journey times, enhanced capacity and greater frequency, NPR would provide opportunities for our young people to secure the skilled jobs we need to drive productivity and link up the great cities of the North to stimulate economic growth. It is vital that NPR is delivered to the North alongside HS2, to create a high-speed network for the whole of the country and open up labour markets that are currently not accessible for young people across the North today. With HS2 and NPR it is not a case of either/or – we need both.”

Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central and co-chair of the NP APPG, said: “The North East is a vital part of the Northern Powerhouse, and we need to ensure that cities like Sunderland benefit to unlock the economic opportunities of being better connected to Leeds or Liverpool, as well as better transport for commuting across and within the North East itself. In the Comprehensive Spending Review we need to see the north of England getting the full amount we need – and a cross-party consensus to last us the 30 years it will still take to close the North-South divide.”

Image credit | iStock

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