Transport for the North (TfN) has unveiled its draft Strategic Transport Plan, which aims to transform travel across the north of England.
Costing £70 billion, the Strategic Transport Plan aims to bridge the economic gap between the north and the rest of England by 2050.
The 30-year plan will bring sustained transport infrastructure investment to the region, with estimates suggesting that it could deliver around 850,000 extra jobs by 2050, and add £100 billion to the economy.
The plan explains why investment in transport is needed and identifies key strategic development corridors where TfN will focus on improving infrastructure.
One of the corridors identified is the Southern Pennines, which research shows could benefit from road and rail improvements, making access easier from the Port of Liverpool to the Humber Ports via Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Sheffield City Region.
Through this major investment, TfN is aiming to make it easier for people and goods to move across the region. It is hoped this will support businesses by providing greater accessibility to cities and also improving movement of freight goods that can make quicker journeys on our roads to ports and airports.
The Strategic Transport Plan has identified roads on the major road network that need to be improved if economic growth is to be achieved, and will evaluate how to strengthen these.
Elsewhere, there are ambitious plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail to install resilient rail links between major towns and cities; a long term rail strategy will see investment in lines, stations and franchises to deliver better connectivity and capacity.
John Cridland is the Chairman for TfN. He described the plan as ‘revolutionary’.
“For the first time, civic and business leaders and transport operators are speaking with one voice on transport to make sure the north fulfils its potential.
“Our plan proposes a revolutionary investment programme that will make it possible to travel to high quality jobs. This is an ambitious programme that will improve our roads and railways and will also drive a sea change in skills development in the north, and ensuring we meet that historic gap in investment.”
There is now a 13-week consultation period for the general public to share their thoughts on these proposals.