No guaranteed success of Northern Powerhouse, BBC suggests

John Cridland, chairman of Transport for the North, has said there is no guarantee that investing billions into the Northern Powerhouse project will help the North of England, the BBC has reported.

However, Cridland does maintain that the public should take a ‘leap of faith’ on new roads and railways. He believes that reducing journey tines between northern cities will improve the economy, with his report on the matter due to be published shortly.

Currently under consideration is the option of constructing a motorway from Sheffield to Manchester, or a HS3 rail link between Leeds and Manchester. Nonetheless Anne Robinson, from Friends of the Peak District, told BBC News: "These are just pie-in-the-sky schemes. We haven't been given the slightest shred of evidence that they will do any good."

Robinson argued that the motorway scheme would cost a fortune and would could create congestion in roads at either end of the tunnel, in addition to risking the disruption of ecology at Peak National Park. She concluded that it would be foolish to take a leap of faith with billions of public money.

Cridland contended: "I'm not claiming there is perfect science here. But I am convinced that after decades of under-investment, it's now time to close that investment gap - and it will lead to better travelling experiences and economic growth.

"Transport economics can't always prove this: sometimes, like the Victorian engineers, you have to take a leap of faith."