I’ve backed a bid by the Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group for the funding needed for Transport for the North’s Strategic Plan. This includes Northern Powerhouse Rail and also further strategic projects, as recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission.

Along with eighty other Parliamentarians, I signed a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond which calls on the Government to provide the £39bn for Northern Powerhouse Rail as part of a total £120bn of transport investment. This is needed by 2050 to ensure that the North’s economic corridors are properly connected.

Currently, we have poor journey times and services are unreliable and overcrowded, which is the result of a huge imbalance in transport spending. The Government is planning to spend five times more in London than in Yorkshire and the Humber – £844 per person compared to £4,155.[1] The scrapping of Midland Main Line electrification is another part of the problem, denying us greener and faster services with increased capacity.

This is not acceptable. We need proper transport investment in the North to rebalance the economy, creating jobs and growth by better linking our great northern cities.

[1] From this report by IPPR North: planned transport spending in London is set to be £4,155 per person, five times more than Yorkshire and the Humber which is set to be £844 per person in the period to 2020/21.

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