£70 billion Transport Plan for the North

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    It has been announced that as part of the Strategic Transport Plan for the North, rail journey times between key cities are to be cut substantially. Led by Transport for the North, this would thereby offer improved economic opportunities for the region.

    The impact could be huge. Transport times Liverpool and Manchester reduced by 30 minutes. The same for Manchester and Leeds, and just 26 minutes between Leeds and Sheffield. This has the potential to add £100 billion in GVA and to create 850,000 new jobs by 2050.

    North Transport Plan Welcome by Business Leaders

    The region’s business leaders have heralded the plan. They have called it “a truly compelling case for the transformational long-term investment.  The North needs to meet its economic potential” said Jessica Bowles, Bruntwood director of strategy. Neil Carberry, CBI managing director for infrastructure and people, says “It is a significant milestone in delivering the infrastructure that is needed to boost productivity across the whole of the North”. Furthermore, Steve Gillingham, Mace director for the North says “It’s a landmark for the North” said Steve Gillingham, Mace director for the North.

    In addition, it is predicted the region’s economy will witness improved growth with the introduction of better connectivity between northern cities. The much shorter journey times will ensure the North can generate and keep hold of the skills and jobs it needs to be an economic success.

    Understated this project’s significance cannot be. Steve Gillingham describes it as “more important to the North of England than one of our cities winning the Commonwealth Games or Olympics”.

    Find out more about what they had to say. 

    Improved Quality of Life

    The North is a prime region for such infrastructure development. As Transport for the North chairman, John Cridland, says: “The North is a rich, diverse region and home to around 16 million people. We have vibrant communities, buzzing cities, five stunning national parks, an abundance of talent and a wealth of high-performing businesses.” John is a particularly strong advocate for northern who several months ago, during an interview, said “I refuse to accept that North has to be poor relation.”

    The strategy will ensure that 1.3 million people are within 60 minutes of at least four major northern cities. Today this is fewer than 10,000, leading to a vastly improved quality of life for over a million people. In addition, these new transport connections will help the North continue to grow as an attractive destination for people.

    Transport Corridors

    Set out in the north transport plan are seven key corridors. These include improved rail and road connections between the Liverpool and Humber ports. Also, upgraded travel routes between non-carbon energy research centres across the region. Quicker and easier transport between key enterprise hubs should see greater working links and a further boosted northern economy.

    Transport for the North is a partnership between 11 northern local enterprise partnerships. The partnership includes Highways England, HS2 Ltd, the Department of Transport and Highways England.

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