Latest Rail News

08.10.18

Burnham: The north needs to move to ‘front of the queue’ for transport investment

The mayor of Greater Manchester has said that the north of England needs to move to “the front of the queue” for prioritisation of transport investment in order to take advantage of investment in the region.

Speaking exclusively to RTM at TransCityRail 2018, Andy Burnham said the advancement of devolution “is not all about going with a begging bowl to London,” and added that he would welcome the most ambitious transport system proposals in a bid to take the opportunity of economic growth of the northern cities.

“I think what happened in the summer, we know originally it was in the best of intentions to expand the northern timetable and improve things, but what it’s shown is that our infrastructure just isn’t up to the job. It is outdated, it’s unreliable, and it’s not good enough,” said the Greater Manchester mayor.

“You cannot run a railway on it, certainly not a 21st century railway. I think the country has seen how the north of England needs to move to the front of the queue now when it comes to prioritisation of transport investment, and I’m hoping the government will see that too.

“By coming here to the centre of Manchester, those big international companies will see the potential of the northern economy. It’s there you can see the cranes on our skyline; this is growth that is happening, and it’s happening now. The worry is that we don’t have a transport system that can keep pace with that economic growth – and in time it could potentially slow it down.

“So for those big players coming here to this important conference, they can see that the potential is real and it’s unfolding before our eyes. It’s not all about going with a begging bowl to London. As we are developing devolution in the north of England, there’s more we can do to have a direct relationship with those organisations, and for them to bring ideas to us about how we might make improvements to our transport infrastructure in the short to medium term.”

Missed out on TransCityRail 2018 but want to attend next year? Click here to find out more and get your ticket for 3 October 2019!

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