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Transport strategy for the north unveiled

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A major transport strategy for the north of England has been unveiled.

Transport for the North’s draft strategic transport plan outlines how transport connections need to be transformed over 30 years to drive growth and close the economic gap with the rest of the country.

If fully implemented, Transport for the North estimate the plan could deliver an extra 850,000 jobs and a £100bn economic boost for the region by 2050.

John Cridland, Transport for the North’s chair, said: “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.”

A large number of road and rail investment proposals are identified in the plan, including improving connectivity between the Port of Liverpool and the Humber ports and a vision for the Northern Powerhouse rail scheme which aims to improve connectivity between Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Newcastle, and Liverpool.

It is estimated the plan, if fully implemented, would cost up to £2.3bn per year – or about £150 per person in the north. However, Transport for the North said this figure includes spending which is already expected as part of ongoing strategic transport investment in the North, with between £700m and £900m per year (or £50 per person) in additional spending.

The strategic transport plan is now out for public consultation until 17 April. A final version will be published later in the year and submitted to the government for ministerial consideration.

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