The multi-billion transport investment in the North is the start of “a sustained programme to rebuild the transport fabric of the North and deliver the Northern Powerhouse.”
Those are the thoughts of Chris Grayling, who spoke about the government’s plans for transport across the North.
The Transport Secretary, who also used his visit to the region to officially open the £290 million A6 Manchester Airport Relief Road, described the current time as “exciting” for transport in the region.
As part of the programme to deliver the Northern Powerhouse, Mr Grayling gave examples of government funding, including £3 billion in the coming years to improve rail journeys between Manchester, Leeds and York.
Elsewhere, £3 billion will result in northern road improvements; every train on the Northern and TransPennine networks will be modernised by the start of 2020; £337 million will be invested in new Metro Trains in the North East; and smart ticketing will be implemented in buses and trains.
The Transport Secretary accepted that criticism and scepticism will remain about the ability for the Northern Powerhouse to become a reality after the issues this year we’ve seen with delays and cancellations to Northern services.
However, he said that the North West will receive greater funding per head in the three years to 2021 than any other area of the country, and in regards to transport in the North, Mr Grayling described the programme as “ambitious.”
He said: “The government is ambitious for transport in the North – which is why we’re delivering £13 billion of investment in the five years to 2020.”
He continued: “I’m proud to be part of a government that is delivering palpably more investment for northern roads and railways that is empowering transport authorities across the region like never before.
“And that will continue to see the growth of prosperity of the North as one of our biggest priorities. This is a time of real opportunity.”