At a meeting in Westminster, Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has backed Transport for the North’s 30-year plan to upgrade rail links between Northern cities, and called on the Government match TfN’s ambition with investment and new devolved powers.
The new plan centres on the Norther Powerhouse Rail link that will stretch from Liverpool to Leeds. It will ensure that 1.3 million people can reach the North’s four largest cities (Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool & Manchester) in less than an hour. Currently that figures stands at 10,000.
Transport for the North estimate that the service from Liverpool to Manchester could take just 28 minutes on the new line, compared to 50 minutes at the moment.
Commenting on the plan, Jeff said: “For too long, the North has been starved of transport investment – Londoners receive £1,500 more per person in transport investment than those living in the North
This strategy is a crucial intervention to redress that balance – now the Government must back the plan.
That means providing the investment we need to implement the plan, as well as upgrading Transport for the North’s status so that it can directly control transport investment and raise its own funds.
Anything less will be yet more evidence that this Government has given up on the Northern Powerhouse.”