Manchester Piccadilly

Government open to supporting northern transport developments

In a written statement to parliament, Transport Secretary Mark Harper has announced that the government will be willing to consider options to continue the development of northern transport options.

Speaking specifically on transport connections between Manchester and Liverpool, and discussing Northern Powerhouse Rail, Harper spoke about how local leaders are exploring options for making improvements to Manchester Piccadilly Station, as well as routes into Liverpool. These plans will be considered by the government as the basis for developments to NPR, on the basis that they meet funding requirements and value for money.

Alongside these projects, Harper also touched on how the government will continue to assess alternative options that will contribute to the delivering of NPR, with these being affordable and giving the taxpayer value for money whilst still meeting capacity needs.

NPR quote

In his statement, Harper said:

“As promised in the Network North announcement, the Rail Minister and I have engaged extensively with local leaders to ensure that this plan was right for them and to understand whether they wished to suggest alternative ways to achieve the objectives with that funding.

“We have heard from these stakeholders in favour of continuing to serve Warrington Bank Quay and Manchester Airport, and using broadly the current route towards Manchester as part of our Northern Powerhouse Rail plans.”

Also announced through the statement was that the government will, subject to the House of Commons, adapt the High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill to ensure that it can deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail only, with this removing sections of the link that were included as part of HS2.This will then, hopefully, lead to the safeguarding of NPR.

By taking this step, local leaders should be able to benefit from more reassurance that transport links between their communities can continue to be developed, bringing economic growth and opportunities for residents across the north.


Image credit: iStock


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