£70bn blueprint to transform the North’s economy

A £70 billion plan to transform transport links across the north of England has been unveiled, identifying seven ‘corridors’ where investment should be focused.

Transport for the North, who announced the proposals, say that the plans will result in 1.3 million people living within an hour’s train journey from Manchester airport and at least four major northern cities. Amongst the seven corridors mentioned in the proposals is the creation of a new rail network, called Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The plan makes the case to increase spending on strategic transport by around £50 per person in the North each year to 2050, and also includes upgraded and new major roads; enhancements to the existing rail network; and the continued roll out of smart ticketing.

Barry White, chief executive of Transport for the North, said: “The Strategic Transport Plan is a hugely important document for the North. It is our vision for a prosperous pan-Northern future and outlines how investment in transport could transform our economy. Our Investment Programme outlines how an additional investment of just £50 per person in the North, per year, could play a part in unlocking a £100 billion increase in economic activity and create 850,000 new jobs.

“For the people of the North, this will mean more choice over where they live and work, access to higher quality jobs and better connections to friends and families. It will mean our businesses have more opportunity to collaborate, trade and grow in a sustainable way. This final Plan will be a statutory document written by the North, for the North, and will be our blueprint to deliver transformational change and leave a legacy for future generations.”

Subject to approval the plans will be officially launched by Transport for the North on  11 February 2019 in Sheffield at Transport for the North’s Inaugural Conference. Transport for the North’s Board, made up of civic leaders – including council leaders and metro mayors, will meet on 7 February to discuss and vote on the plans.

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