The new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited Manchester to promise funding for a faster Manchester to Leeds trans-pennine rail route.
Approximately 100 people were on hand to hear the pledge at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, where the Prime Minister reaffirmed that his intention is to level out opportunities and unlock potential across the whole of the UK.
It is part of Mr Johnson’s domestic agenda to “turbo-charge” regional growth and prosperity.
A faster rail route from Manchester to Leeds is part of that agenda and the Prime Minister said that full details of the route will be published this autumn, following a review into HS2.
Speaking in Manchester, he said: “I want to be the Prime Minister who does with Northern Powerhouse Rail what we did with Crossrail in London.
“I am going to deliver on my commitment to that vision with a pledge to fund the Leeds to Manchester route.
“It will be up to local people and us to come to an agreement on the exact proposal they want, but I have tasked officials to accelerate their work on these plans so that we are ready to do a deal in the autumn.”
Northern Powerhouse Rail is at the heart of Downing Street’s commitment to rebalance power, growth and productivity across the UK; this route between Manchester and Leeds is the first step in this process.
The route – a key one for businesses and commuters – will provide additional capacity for users across the region and journey times will be significantly reduced, improving the whole experience.
Mr Johnson also pledged to improve bus services within local regions, adding: “I want to help local leaders bring their local services in all our towns and cities up to the standards of the best.
“I want that to start now, with improvements that can happen in the short term, not just big engineering schemes that will take years.”