The government has been urged to commit to a ‘Northern Budget’ the Transport for the North (TfN) Board.
Representing more than 15 million people across the region, the Board is comprised of leaders from throughout the North, who believe the Northern Budget would provide a welcome boost to the economic fortunes of the region.
The Board is calling on the Boris Johnson government to commit to promises previously made by the last government as part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda.
There are three requests for the Northern Budget, which calls for the ‘bare essential’ in order to gain better transport infrastructure in the short, medium and long-term.
This includes a commitment of £7 billion for a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline – a list of “shovel-ready” road and rail projects that will be delivered by the mid-2020s.
Also, the commitment to deliver the £39 billion Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) network by 2040; and finally, to commit £1 billion for TfN over the next three years so its vision for funding the development of NPR, as well as other road and rail schemes can be delivered.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said that the government allocating this funding would be “the ultimate demonstration of commitment.”
He said: “Government may look different but our ‘asks’ are not. We’re consistent and focused in our plan for what infrastructure the north needs to unlock its full potential, not just for its own benefit, but for the whole UK.
“A Northern Budget would be the ultimate demonstration of commitment.
“Northern Powerhouse Rail is vital to the North’s future economic success, supporting 850,000 new jobs by 2050 and an extra £100 billion into the economy. The north is clear that we only support NPR proposals that deliver the whole network from Liverpool to Hull, along with HS2.”
The Prime Minister has committed to funding a Manchester to Leeds rail route, but as the TfN Board show, more is expected to unlock the north’s infrastructure and economic potential.