Southport Reporter (R) Online Nespaper for Merseyside

Read our Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy


Terms and Conditions

Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


Click on here to email our news room today!



Your free online newspaper for Merseyside
This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography.



Latest Edition



Order Photos  Help Client Admin Advert Options

Updated news stories weekly.  Published online only late every Friday.

Your online newspaper.   Your words.

Issue:- 7 November 2014

What effect will the 'Northern Futures Summit' in Leeds have on Merseyside?

THE DPM, on Thursday, 6 November 2014, launched a major project called:- 'Northern Futures' that is asking people in the North what our Northern Cities needed in order to compete globally, and to grow, at a summit, with Centre for Cities in Leeds.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:- "One of the key things that comes up time and again is the need for better transport links; electrification for the rail networks connecting Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, renovation of the dilapidated commuter lines. That is why I am pushing for a huge programme of transport improvements in the North to begin immediately. The suggestions and ideas we have had will be debated at the Northern Futures Summit in Leeds today, and I will turn as much as I can into swift action. London and South East has had billions of transport investment over recent years from HS1 to Crossrail to the Northern Line extension. The perfectly reasonable requests I have been hearing from the North are basics that are needed if we are to create a true economic hub in the North of England. The North needs improved transport now. The roads and railway lines connecting our great Northern Cities have seen improvements in recent years, but I want more. Much more. As we negotiate over what gets government funding in the Autumn Statement, one of my key priorities will be to change that. We need to get this started as soon as possible. I want a fully upgraded and electrified network between Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield by 2025. We also need to improve commuter services on lines that are not electrified. I want significant improvement; government money to buy better rolling stock to improve commuter routes in the North; also by 2025. Ancient rolling stock and lines that have not been upgraded in 30 years are not fit for a 21st century metropolis. Decrepit trains such as the Pacers, which are literally ancient buses on rails, are not a fair way for people in the North to get to and from work. They would not be deemed acceptable on London commuter lines, and they are not acceptable in the North. This is not just about rail. 64% of journeys in the North are by car. We need to build on the announcements already made to improve road links such as the M62. I want to go further, starting by extending the full stretch of the M62 between Manchester and Leeds to 8 lanes using the "smart" motorway model (that is, turning the hard shoulder into a 4th lane in each direction), and having a programme of improvements for the Woodhead Pass (A618/A626) between Manchester and Sheffield. I will push to see these in the upcoming Roads Investment Strategy for completion by 2025."

But many in Liverpool and other parts of the North West as questioning why the focus has again been on Manchester, with the likes of Liverpool being missed out of the HS2 and HS3 links.

With over 25 million people using the cross Pennine rail routes every year, today over a 3rd of passengers have to stand during their commute, it was announced at the summet, so by 2025 the DPM wants to see electrified cross Pennine links between Liverpool and Manchester on one side and Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull on the other. This, they say, will shorten journey times to 40 minutes at most between any 2 of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and end the misery of overcrowding when people journey to work. But again Liverpool and Chester have been left out!

The DPM have told the media that the:- "Top Facts on road and rail in the North" are as follows:-

► Ancient rolling stock and lines that have not been upgraded in 30 years.

► Over 25 million people use cross-Pennine routes every year, and over a 3rd of passengers have to stand during their commute.

► Electrification of key routes will shorten journey times to, at most, 40 minutes between any 2 of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

► 64% of journeys in the North are by car.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg also said:- "It's absurd that our great North is missing out on visitors when it boasts such stunning countryside, history and culture. Through the Northern Futures project, I asked people what our Northern cities needed in order to compete globally, and to grow. Your resounding call is clear; a strong Northern future relies on putting the North back on the map: a top tourist destination. From next year, up to £10m could be put in place for there to be a clear strategy for tourism in the North, bringing harmony to the current offer from 29 individual tourism boards into one great offer."

Yet, the RMT slammed Nick Clegg in a press release, for what they say is hypocrisy, as he outlined his rail plans in Leeds. Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said that:- "It is clearly hypocritical for Nick Clegg to talk big about improving rail services in Yorkshire; while he is the deputy leader of a Government whose current franchise proposals on Northern and TPE would decimate jobs and services. This is pure political posturing and his electorate in Sheffield will not be fooled. If Nick Clegg was serious about improving rail in the North he would come out in support of RMT's fight to defend and expand jobs and services in the here and now."

So what are your views about this topic? Please email us to:- and let us know what you think about it today!

For more information about this subject click on here

News Report Page Quick Flick.

Click on here to go back to this week's home page! News Report Page Quick Flick
Click on this section to see last weeks edition of Southport and Mersey Reporter!

Our radio station phone in message line...   Call us now!

Sign up today for our daily email news service!

Sign up to our Daily Email News Service by clicking here now...

QLocal a for you. Did you know we where the UK's first online only newspaper and we still are?  Here at Southport and Mersey Reporter  we are still at  leading the way for local news.

All email addresses and information is held under the UK's Data Protection Act.

Highlighted events that are taking place this month:-

If you have an event and want to get it noticed, let us know by emailing us to:-

Click on the event title displayed above to find out about lots more events, as well as dates & times!

Our websites in our online series.   Group navigation, information and useful none group links...
Southport TV - Our online video archive. Liverpool Reporter - Our online music station. Mersey Reporter - OUR HUB WEBSITE.
Southport TV Liverpool Reporter Mersey Reporter Formby Reporter

Add to Google

This is what the moon is doing tonight.  Click on to find out why.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

Our live Southport Webcam.  To see click live, click on image.


Show us your location
Please sign our map and let us know where you are  from....


News Room Phone Number

(+44)  08443 244 195
Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge. 

Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the independent monitor for the UK's press.

How to make a complaint

Complaints Policy  -  Complaints Procedure  -  Whistle Blowing Policy

© PCBT Photography & PBT Media Relations Ltd. - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope