Liverpool City Region
leaders publish plan to transform the region
PLANS for future transport investment
in Liverpool and the wider North of England have been outlined at an event
marking the publication of a 30 year plan to drive economic growth.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Mayor and Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee, which oversees the
work of Merseytravel, launched the plan at Liverpool Life Science Accelerator in
Liverpool. Health innovation is one of four regional strengths which have been
identified as vital to transforming the Northern economy. The Accelerator
provides laboratory space, business support and commercialisation, and
networking facilities for both new and growing life science businesses.
Transport for the North's Strategic Transport Plan is the 1st of its kind and
outlines how connections across the North of England need to be improved to
drive growth and close the economic gap between the North and the rest of
England. The public are now being asked to share their thoughts on the proposals
through a 13 week consultation.
Aimed at rebalancing the UK's economy through a sustained 30 year programme of
transport infrastructure investment, the plan could deliver a ₤100 billion boost
to the economy and 850,000 additional jobs by 2050.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said:- "This ambitious
plan offers the possibility of transformational change for the North of England,
including the Liverpool City Region, through influencing economic growth and
rebalancing the economy in favour of the North.
It is vital that we ensure that major transport projects benefit the whole of
the North, and this plan sets out how we can make that happen.
It is a significant step forward but must be delivered if we are to realise our
ambitions, which will require support throughout the North. I'd like to ask
people to take the time to respond to the public consultation, so we can be sure
that the final plan reflects what is important to them."
Transport for the North is working to make it easier for people and goods to
travel across the region, increasing access to jobs, supporting businesses and
improving the movement of freight and goods across the North and to ports and
airports, including the Port of Liverpool and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. 7
'corridors' of opportunity are identified in the plan that are key to
achieving these aims.
The 'West and Wales' corridor will improve the movement of people and
goods, to, from and through Cheshire, Liverpool City Region and Greater
Manchester and on into North Wales and the Midlands whilst the 'Central
Pennines' corridor will improve East West connectivity for some of the North's
important economic centres and assets in:- North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East
Riding and Hull and Humber through to:- Greater Manchester, Lancashire and
Liverpool City Region.
Whilst a full list of the improvements which will be needed has not yet been
published, emerging priorities for the Liverpool City Region and Cheshire area
include the provision of a freight rail route across the central Pennines,
enabling goods to travel off road between Liverpool and the Humber ports, the
Growth Track 360 proposals in North Wales, Cheshire and the Wirral, rail
connections between the Port of Liverpool and the West Coast Main Line, linking
Liverpool directly to the HS2 network and dualling the A500. These are in
addition to a series of baseline investment assumptions set out within the plan.
John Cridland, Transport for the North Chairman, said:- "The North is a
rich, diverse region and home to around 16 million people. We have vibrant
communities, buzzing Cities, 5 stunning national parks, an abundance of
talent and a wealth of high performing businesses. Transport for the North's
vision is of a thriving North of England, where modern transport connections
drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life. For the 1st
time, civic and business leaders and transport operators are speaking with 1
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."
Alongside the corridors, Transport for the North has for the 1st time outlined
its emerging vision for Northern Powerhouse Rail, a rapid, reliable and
resilient rail network between the North's 6 biggest Cities and other
significant economic centres. This is accompanied by an updated Rail Strategy
for investment in the North's existing lines, stations, services and franchise
operations, reflecting the planned integration of Rail North into Transport for
the North in April 2018.
Northern Powerhouse Rail would give an additional 50.8% of the population of
Liverpool City Region (over 777,000 residents) the ability to access 4 major
Cities within 90 minutes from home whilst Liverpool itself would be within 75
minutes from home for over 5 million people.
In the short term, Transport for the North has commenced a rolling programme
from now until 2021 to introduce integrated and smart ticketing across the North
of England. This has included collaboration with Merseytravel and Merseyrail to
enhance the established Merseytravel Walrus Smartcard scheme. The programme will
make paying for and planning travel across the North much easier.
The investment priorities are backed up by research that links the North's prime
capabilities in advanced manufacturing, digital, energy and health innovation.
The cost of the 30 year plan is estimated to equate to less than ₤150 per Northern citizen per year, or ₤2
billion to 2.3 billion per year.
This figure also includes spending which would already be expected as part of
ongoing strategic transport investment in the North, with only ₤50 per person
per year (₤700 million to 900 million per year) additional spending. Regional spend figures
issued by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority for the 4 years from 2017
calculated that projected Government spend on strategic transport will be ₤1,039
per head for the three Northern regions (North West, North East, Yorkshire and
The public consultation on the Strategic Transport Plan will run until 17 April
2018 with engagement events taking place across the North, including:- Crewe, on
19 February 2018, Liverpool, on 28 February 2018, Manchester Airport, on 7 March
Llandudno, on 14 March 2018, Chester, on 15 March 2018, Warrington, on 22 March
2018 and Wigan, on 26 March 2018. A final version of the plan will be published later in the
year and submitted to the Government for ministerial consideration.
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