Important backing for new long-term rail plan

The government should respond positively and urgently to Transport for the North’s new strategic investment programme that sets out an achievable long-term plan to bring the region’s dire rail infrastructure up to scratch.

The £70 billion plan to transform the North’s transport infrastructure over the next 30 years is backed by Liverpool City Region and would link our city to HS2 via a new twin-track line between Liverpool and Manchester and then on to other Northern cities.

The investment is based on an economic return that would see £15 billion in economic growth, 24,000 new jobs, 11,000 new homes and 3.6 million more visitors a year to the region.

Northern Powerhouse Rail and its connections with HS2 will offer faster passenger journeys and crucially provide the capacity needed for the doubling of passenger numbers over the coming decades.

It would free up capacity on the existing network for freight, helping the Port of Liverpool make the most of its prime position on the country’s West Coast.

Transport for the North brings together Network Rail, the Department for Transport and local authorities from across the North but the government now needs to put its money where its mouth is so that the plans can be put in to action. I will continue to promote this plan.