Northern Powerhouse transport blueprint
On 11 August 2015, the government published a blueprint for £13 billion of government investment in transport to help create the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Ref Gov.uk.
The government describes the Northern Powerhouse initiative as ‘…a one-nation drive to close the economic gap between north and south by helping the region unleash its full power and create a balanced, healthier economy.’
The government believes that improving transport links in the north will bring its cities and regions closer together making it easier for people and businesses to access markets and deploy their skills.
The transport improvements set out in the blueprint include:
- New electric train services between Manchester, Liverpool and Wigan.
- The opening of the refurbished station at Manchester Victoria.
- A new southern entrance to Leeds station.
- New franchises for modern trains and additional capacity on Transpennine services between Leeds and Manchester and the removal of Pacer trains on Northern routes.
- Faster trains and better services between Sheffield and London.
- Investment in more than 40 major road schemes across Yorkshire, the north east and north west.
- In the longer-term, transforming city to city rail connectivity through HS2 and TransNorth east-west rail links.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that the government was determined to, "…close the economic gap between north and south. Investing in transport – something that successive governments have failed to do sufficiently – is vital to making that happen."
Commercial Secretary at the Treasury Lord O’Neill said, “Investing in first class transport infrastructure is a key part of our commitment to create a Northern Powerhouse. Our investment is helping to better connect the region, building a strong Northern economy, and it is great to see the huge progress already underway.”
Andy Clarke CEO of Asda and member of a new Business Advisory Group created by the Prime Minister said, “Businesses need the right infrastructure and the confidence that government is supporting, not thwarting, their ambitions. Linking our great cities will help to fuel this engine for growth while creating more jobs and opportunities, and the transport schemes being announced today are welcome progress.”
The government also announced that businesswoman Michelle Mone OBE would carry out an independent review of ways to encourage business start-ups and entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities, including those in the north. This will focus on identifying obstacles faced by people in the most disadvantaged areas and will make recommendations to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Business Secretary Sajid Javid in 2016.
In November 2017, new legal powers were announced, giving the North an unprecedented say on how money is spent on transport.
From April 2018, Transport for the North (TfN will get new powers to:
- Produce a statutory transport strategy for the North which government must formally consider when taking funding decisions.
- Fund organisations to deliver transport projects, e.g. transport operators delivering smart ticketing in the North.
- Work with local authorities to fund, promote and deliver road schemes - and be consulted on rail franchises in the North.
- Take forward smart ticketing to bring in faster, easier rail travel.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Budget 2015.
- City deals.
- Cities devolution bill.
- Devolution and development.
- Enterprise zones.
- Going for growth, Reviewing the Effectiveness of Government Growth Initiatives.
- Growth and Infrastructure Bill.
- Growth deal.
- High Speed 2 (HS2).
- Housing growth partnership.
- Housing zones.
- Local Development Orders.
- Local Enterprise Partnerships.
- Localism Act.
- State of the nation: Devolution.
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