John Leech has today given his backing to the “One North” transport plan launched by an alliance of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield Councils.
If adopted, the £15 billion, 15-year investment plan, which complements the HS2 proposals, could deliver benefits for the whole of the North of England including extended managed motorways reducing congestion and as much as 55% faster journey times on a faster, more frequent interconnected rail network.
The report was produced in response to the challenge set out by Sir David Higgins, Chair of HS2, for the North to get the most out of the HS2 project.
John Leech said,
“I am backing these plans and have written to George Osborne urging him to implement the plan. Manchester has seen a huge amount of transport investment from this Government with the Metrolink, Northern Hub and the proposals for smart motorways. HS2 is a huge project that will bridge the North-South divide but it is vital the North takes full advantage of the project, I believe the One North plan will do just that.”
Notes to Editors:
The report proposes:
• Increased road capacity for both freight and personal travel through extended managed motorways, addressing gaps in the network and improving links to ports.
• A very fast, frequent and high quality intercity rail network joining up city regions – including a new trans-Pennine route (tunnelled as necessary), 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.
• New rolling stock (as a priority), electrification of existing lines, higher service frequencies and addressing pinch-points on the rail network.
• A digital infrastructure enabling real-time information, greater network resilience and faster connections between key areas to personal and business users.
• 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 forwards the delivery of HS2 between Leeds and Sheffield.
• Improving East/West rail freight capability across the Pennines, linking major ports to north/south rail routes.