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Budget response: Opportunities for our region, but we still need a Northern Budget

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Commenting on today’s Budget, Barry White, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said: “Recognition that the Treasury “Green Book” way of making investment decisions does not work is nothing new to the people of the North. For years now they have felt the effects of underinvestment and it is time for that to change. We have long advocated for a transformational approach to investment appraisals, which would ensure the North gets the investment it truly needs to kick-start the “levelling up” process.

“We are disappointed that Northern Powerhouse Rail continues to be talked about only in terms of the Manchester to Leeds leg, and we remain clear that this transformative rail project must be delivered in full. The £500,000 to support Bradford’s regeneration and development plans around the crucial Northern Powerhouse Rail central station – something which we believe is a priority for the city’s growth – is good news but must be supported by ongoing investment in the NPR project across the whole route.

“The West Yorkshire devolution deal and committed funding for our region’s mayors highlight the move towards further devolution, and we will continue our calls for a dedicated “Northern Budget” so that sustained and substantial transport investment can be made in our region according to our needs.

“Today’s Budget opens up the pathway to the Comprehensive Spending Review, and with the National Infrastructure Strategy delayed and Integrated Rail Plan recently announced, there are many opportunities for Northern leaders to be at the heart of investment decisions for our region.”