New transport plan to connect the North

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Posted by APM on 7th Aug 2014

Trans-Pennine rail linkRepresentatives from five cities across the North of England have produced the One North Report that calls for an overhaul of its transport system.

Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle support the 15bn 15-year plan that would see a 125mph , better access to Manchester Airport and a faster link to Newcastle.

The project would also include improved regional rail networks that would allow additional capacity on existing lines, as well as improved road networks and access to ports. The moves would work with the existing HS2 scheme for the North and aim to be completed by 2030.

Chancellor George Osborne has previously set out his vision of an economic powerhouse in the North as he hopes for northern cities to take on the world as London had done. The report will be the centerpiece of the Chancellors autumn statement and he claims the project is part of our long-term economic plan for the country.

Sir Richard Leese, Labour leader of Manchester City Council, said: The current constraints on our transport networks, the product of years of neglect and under-investment, affect the competitiveness of the North.

East-West journeys take almost twice as long as equivalent journeys in the South and our rail links are too slow and uncoordinated.

Though the plans will please the majority, Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), recently raised concerns. He said: While the Chancellors ambition for a northern HS3 is positive, the Government must focus on getting HS2 on the statute books and into construction first.

Businesses like this sort of ambitious thinking, but will be far more impressed if the Governments existing list of infrastructure commitments are delivered.

Image: "185 149 at Meadowhall June 2011" by George Griffiths - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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