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Transport for the North welcomes today’s announcement from government confirming the proposed HS2 Phase 2b routes north of Birmingham, including confirmation of related plans for developing the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.
Nigel Foster, Strategy Director for Transport for the North, said:
“Today’s announcement is another step forward in ensuring the North will have the rail connectivity and capacity it needs – not just between the North and the South but across and within the North of England.
“Together, Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 Phase 2b will help mobilise the economy of the North by enabling people to move with much more ease between our great economic centres. The investment will also give confidence to the business community and those who want to live and work in the North by improving labour markets and creating more job opportunities.
“We welcome the recognition by the Rt Hon Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, that Northern Powerhouse Rail would play a vital role in maximising the potential of HS2 and we are continuing to work closely with the Department for Transport, HS2 and Network Rail to ensure these major investments generate the best possible output for the people of the North. This will include identifying before the end of 2017 a set of proposals for how Northern Powerhouse Rail could connect with the HS2 network.”
The inclusion of provision for a junction north of Sheffield, that will deliver the TfN aspiration for a journey time of less than 30 minutes between Leeds and Sheffield using HS2, is a welcome first step in the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.
Nigel added, “We are pleased that the Secretary of State recognises that the investment will also free up capacity for local and commuter services and freight on the rail network in the North. This will provide scope for addressing crowding and resilience and create opportunities for new services in the North.”
Northern Powerhouse Rail is a shared ambition of Transport for the North, government and partners across the North to significantly improve the capacity, speed, frequency and reliability of train services between Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Hull and Manchester Airport, and other key destinations.
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