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Transport for the North urges parties to hold nerve on investment

Words: Huw Morris
Northern Powerhouse Conference

The sub-national transport body for the north of England is urging all political parties to rebalance decades of underinvestment.

Transport for the North calls for commitment to the full £39 billion Northern Powerhouse Rail network and HS2 as well as devolved budgets and a clear pipeline of investment in infrastructure. It says that doing so would deliver a rail revolution for the North and unlock the region’s pent-up potential.

In an open letter to political parties, chief executive Barry White urges the Oakervee Review to recognise the importance of HS2 to the North, arguing that transport and freight movement are crucial to unlocking the region’s prosperity and closing the productivity gap with the South.

“We need Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2. Delivered together, in lock-step, they’d amount to a rail revolution for the One North economy we set out to achieve in 2015. One our communities have waited for patiently,” he said.

Northern Powerhouse Rail would mean the “most transformational £39 billion network” spanning from Liverpool to Hull and Sheffield to Newcastle.

“That should include new lines between Liverpool and Manchester via Warrington and Manchester Airport, and between Manchester and Leeds. Significant upgrades would create turn-up and go services between Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, the wider North East and Hull. All journey times slashed, each station location a chance to ignite regeneration and foster new enterprise.”

White called on a future government to “back this blueprint to improve people’s opportunities and their quality of life”, arguing that these issues “transcend party politics”.

Image credit | Northern Powerhouse