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15.12.17

TfN confirms January release for delayed draft transport strategy

Transport for the North has this week announced backing from northern leaders for its 30-year draft transport strategy.

The document is expected to be released on 16 January 2018 with infrastructure and improvement plans thought to cost around £2bn-£2.3bn a year.

It will include seven corridors for improvement, aimed at making areas more attractive for businesses to promote growth and increase job prospects.

The strategy aims to develop sustained investment priorities, with Northern Powerhouse Rail and Integrated & Smart Travel projects named as specific targets.

In addition, there will be a Strategic Outline Business Case for the Northern Powerhouse Rail project submitted to transport secretary Chris Grayling by the end of 2018.

TfN also confirmed a number of HS2 infrastructure links, including Junctions in the Leeds area, enabling trains from Manchester, Sheffield and the Midlands to travel via Leeds and on to York, Teesside and the North East, as well as further junctions in Cheshire to serve a new Liverpool line and enable services between Manchester and Liverpool via the HS2 Manchester spur.

There are also plans for a junction north of Sheffield at Clayton and another at Manchester Piccadilly enabling services from Manchester Airport and Liverpool to use either an underground Northern Powerhouse Rail through station or a surface turn-back station to continue east towards Leeds and the North East.

“Transport for the North’s vision is of a thriving North of England, where modern transport connections drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life” commented John Cridland, TfN chairman.

“Our plans would revolutionise travel around the north, particularly east–west links which have previously not received enough attention, and, by extension, will improve how the region does business.

“Although what we’re looking at is investment in our roads and railways, this isn’t just about transport. It’s about ensuring that the north of England is a thriving region where people can learn, build a career and enjoy an excellent quality of life.”

Cridland also said evidence had shown targeted infrastructure investment, along with skills, education and research & development spending, could lead to more than 850,000 new jobs and an additional £100bn gross value added (GVA) by 2050.

TfN is set to become England’s first sub-national transport body next year, with the legislation giving the body statutory status pushed back until April 2018.

Once published the draft plan will be subject to a public consultation running from mid-January to early April 2018.

Top image: NurPhoto, SIPA USA, PA Images

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Comments

DP   15/12/2017 at 10:51

“The strategy aims to develop sustained investment priorities”. In other words a list of stuff they’d like money for but are unlikely to get. How many strategies like this ever actually come to anything? Most end up being tossed in the bin or made completely irrelevant by new governments.

Graham Nalty   15/12/2017 at 17:39

It is important that more definite plans are made and promoted. The best way to get these implemented is to get specific projects mentioned in published official documents so that future workers looking at schemes mention them. At each stage plans for each small part of a project, such as a connection between the classic lines and HS2 and covered in more and more detail, The stated overall strategy has to be the faster journeys between those large cities that are very poorly connected now.

Jonathan Pile   16/12/2017 at 10:17

We wrote to John Cridland in August 2017 - pointing out that the current plans of Transport for the North and HS2 which they are linked make it IMPOSSIBLE for a 30 minute link between Sheffield and Manchester City Centres. A meeting was refused and this point has not been addressed. The Northern Powerhouse Rail target of 30 mins has been missed and the Sheffield-Manchester-Leeds powerhouse has been failed

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