Chancellor George Osborne has declared that investment in infrastructure, transport and science in the North would be the “centrepiece” of his Autumn Statement. Following this Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield have joined forces to call for £15bn of investment in infrastructure improvements across their region.
The report One North: A proposition for an interconnected North sets out a 15-year programme to help rebalance the national economy and to maximise economic growth across the north, boosting transport links. The initiative has been supported by other key cities and regions, including Hull, Bradford, Wakefield and York.
The report’s proposals include:
- Increased road capacity for freight and personal travel through extended managed motorways, addressing gaps in the network and improving links to ports
- An intercity rail network joining up city regions – including a new trans-Pennine route, a faster link to Newcastle and improved access to Manchester Airport.
- Improved regional rail networks to provide additional capacity and help sustain growth, interconnected with HS2 and intercity services plus local tram networks and more park and ride facilities.
- A digital infrastructure enabling real-time information, greater network resilience and faster connections.
- Improved access to enable efficient freight movements by rail, road and water including ports, rail links and distribution centres.
- Building HS2 early – extending phase one to Crewe and bringing forward delivery of HS2 between Leeds and Sheffield.
Improving East/West rail freight capability across the Pennines, linking major ports to north/south rail routes.