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30.11.15

TfN identifying options to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail vision

Transport for the North (TfN) has commissioned Network Rail and HS2 Ltd to identify options to meet the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) vision. 

Launching its Autumn Report today, the organisation said that emerging findings from this work show that entirely new lines, or in some cases major bypasses and cutoffs, may be needed to deliver the connectivity vision in full, and it is developing these route options. 

The report provides an update on the progress that TfN has made towards setting out priorities for transforming rail in the north and plans to transform the north’s strategic road network. 

It was noted that in certain locations, HS2 will play a part in delivering the transformational NPR vision. The organisation is also exploring the potential to make more intensive use of the HS2 eastern leg connection to the East Coast Main Line to address the key constraint of line capacity east of Leeds, as well as options on the East Coast Main Line to Newcastle and routes to Hull. 

The initial work on NPR is developing the case for substantially improved connectivity between the main cities of the North, and between these and Manchester Airport. 

By March 2016, TfN will conduct an initial prioritisation of options, enabling it to focus on further development of the most promising options. Then, in the autumn, TfN will provide an understanding of the relative scale of costs and benefits of different options. 

Working with the Department for Transport, TfN will now produce an implementation plan by Budget 2016 for the roll-out of this vision over this Parliament and beyond.

The organisation also announced that John Cridland joins TfN as its new chair, having overseen the Confederation of British Industries for five years as director-general. 

TfN chief executive, David Brown, said: “John Cridland is an inspirational figure in the world of British business and we are delighted to welcome him to this role where he will play a leading part in driving forward TfN’s ambition to create a Northern Powerhouse through transformed connectivity. 

“John joins us at an important time, taking over from our interim Chair Sir Richard Leese, who has supported in the development of our Autumn Report, launched today, and has been instrumental in developing TfN and bringing together the regions of the North. 

Last week, the chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that TfN will be granted a total £50m in funding over this Parliament, which will allow its programme to build on existing momentum and provides the long-term certainty TfN needs to develop as an organisation. 

In addition, George Osborne has announced funding of £150m to support the delivery of smart and integrated ticketing across local transport and rail services in the north, and has pledged £300m to create a new Transport Development Fund

In early November, proposals were introduced into Parliament this month to put TfN and other regional transport bodies on a statutory footing by 2017.

(Image L-R: David Brown, CEO of TfN, Transport Minister Andrew Jones and John Cridland, chair of TfN)

Comments

DCB   01/12/2015 at 16:13

" . . . address the key constraint of line capacity east of Leeds" - why not a new line NorthallertonRipon/Harrogate/Leeds? As well as local/regional services it could take part of the Scotland/Newcastle to London traffic thus freeing up capacity on the line through York which is the capacity problem.

Roger Capel, Sheffield   02/12/2015 at 15:51

-----or even a RE-OPENED line Northallerton- Ripon - Harrogate. Post-Borders / Waverley, it probably wouldn't get laughed out of court anymore.

Jb   08/03/2016 at 13:13

Absolutely! It's a disgrace that the City of Ripon was disconnected from the rail system in the first place. Apart from relieving Riponians of the road journey to Harrogate or Leeds to catch a train south, as mentioned above the route would again provide a by-pass as far as Northallerton

Jb   08/03/2016 at 13:13

Absolutely! It's a disgrace that the City of Ripon was disconnected from the rail system in the first place. Apart from relieving Riponians of the road journey to Harrogate or Leeds to catch a train south, as mentioned above the route would again provide a by-pass as far as Northallerton

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