Transport spending in the north over the next three years will be higher than in London and the south, new figures reveal. The Department for Transport’s analysis of future spending shows, between 2018 and 2021, it will be investing £831 per head on road and rail upgrades in the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber – more than £30 more per head than London and the south at £799.
The figures emerged as Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg visited Liverpool Airport ahead of attending the Northern Transport Summit in Manchester. She said: ‘We are investing more than £13 billion to improve connections across the north between 2015 and 2020, getting people to their work, family and friends, quicker and easier than before.
‘This investment demonstrates the government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, which will help unlock economic growth and much-needed housing across the region.’
On rail, more than £1 billion is being spent on improving the north’s rail network with further investment through the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises to deliver room for 40,000 more passengers to travel on over 2,000 more services a week, with all trains replaced or refurbished by 2020. The government also plans to invest a further £3 billion upgrading the Transpennine rail route, better connecting Manchester, Leeds and York. Rail passengers will also benefit from smart ticketing, reducing the stress of buying tickets at a station.
In addition, as part of the government’s commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), Transport for the North has been given £60 million to develop proposals for the scheme, alongside investing £300 million to ensure HS2 can accommodate future NPR services.
On roads, last month, the last stretch of motorway-standard road between Newcastle and London via the A1(M) and M1 was officially opened, providing quicker connections from the north-east, creating new opportunities for businesses. The final section of the M62 upgrade between Leeds and Manchester is expected to start construction in 2019/20, leading to quicker, safer and more reliable journeys.
Highways England will also start constructing a further 22 projects in the north over the next 3 years, including 3 upgrades on the M6 near Manchester, the A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool, dualling the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham and improving junctions on the M621.
Innovative trials in York and Newcastle will see how wireless technology can help reduce congestion in cities with vehicles communicating with traffic lights
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