Latest Rail News

02.08.18

Deliver NPR by 2032 and invest £100bn in northern transport by 2050, MPs demand

A cross-party group of MPs have written to the chancellor calling for £100bn of investment to transform the north of England’s transport by 2050.

The letter welcomed the Treasury’s “ongoing commitment to deal with this issue by reversing decades of underinvestment,” but called for the delivery date of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to be brought forward to 2032. They also demanded a commitment to the remainder of Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) recommendation and increasing strategic rail and road spending by £100bn by 2050.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, who set out his vision for the north in the latest issue of PSE, tweeted his support for the letter:

 

 

The letter was authored by Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, but was signed by more than 80 politicians.

“Bringing forward the delivery date of NPR to the same time as HS2 arrives in the north could see the coming generation enjoy further education and job opportunities currently beyond young people today, and stimulate significant growth for the whole of the UK,” Hollinrake said.

Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley, noted the recent timetable chaoswhich cost the north’s economy an estimated £38m – and said: “It is simply not good enough and needs urgent action to address the North's outdated transport network.”

A number of northern Conservative MPs signed the letter, which comes after prime minister Theresa May had to reaffirm her support for transport secretary Chris Grayling despite the ongoing rail chaos.

TfN was officially launched back in April, making it England’s first-ever subnational transport body. But now, northern leaders, including Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, have called for TfN to be handed full powers to manage infrastructure

Investment in the north of England’s railways will be discussed extensively this October at TransCityRail North. Keynote speakers include Tim Wood, NPR director of TfN; Paul Griffiths, managing director of Phase 2 at HS2; and Burnham.

Top image: Owen Humphreys via PA WirePA Images

 

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