Transport for the North is preparing plans to accelerate the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail which will bring transformational change to the region.
Creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and boosting connectivity – and opportunities for businesses and residents – the rail system will result in fast, frequent and reliable rail links between the six major city regions in the North, vastly improving access across the Northern Powerhouse.
The multi-billion pound project of Northern Powerhouse Rail will improve stations, see new and improved rail lines delivered, and integration with HS2.
Leaders from the six major city regions of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Hull have all welcomed the move to accelerate Northern Powerhouse Rail and these figureheads will agree the plans outlined by TfN for the delivery of this rail service, before these ambitions are submitted to the government prior to the end of the year.
All six major city regions will benefit hugely; for example, Manchester will have faster connections to Leeds via Bradford, as well as vastly improved connections to all of Liverpool, Manchester Airport and Sheffield.
It will mean an extra 70,000 extra businesses and more than one million more people will be within 90 minutes’ travel time of the city centre.
Tim Wood is TfN’s Director for Northern Powerhouse Rail. He spoke of the opportunity to create ‘world class railway’.
He said: “Northern Powerhouse Rail is a bold and ambitious plan that will deliver transformational rail improvement at a scale witnessed only once in a lifetime.
“For the north to thrive and grow, we need better and more seamless rail connections across the North and to the rest of the UK.
“What we are seeing here is a chance for us to deliver a world class railway for the North, bringing with it massive opportunities for business and the people living here now, and in the future, and bolstering the city regions for decades to come.”
TfN will submit the business case in December, and subject to design and business case approval, construction could start as soon as 2020, spanning 30 years.