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West and North Yorkshire leaders discuss Strategic Transport Plan

Monday 25th February 2019

Today we met with political leaders from the City of York, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire to discuss the Strategic Transport Plan and proposals for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The meeting, chaired by Councillor Ian Gillies, Transport for the North Vice-Chair and leader of City of York Council, was an opportunity to talk to local leaders about the Plan in Yorkshire and discuss the opportunities and impacts for the region.

The Strategic Transport Plan outlines how a £70 billion pipeline of investment would transform connectivity across the North and unlock £100 billion additional GVA and support the creation of up to 850,000 new jobs by 2050.

The Investment Programme, which accompanies the Strategic Transport Plan, contains transport interventions that would transform connectivity across Yorkshire, and the rest of the North.

Potential interventions in Yorkshire include:
• Rail improvements between Leeds and Newcastle via a junction off HS2 and significant upgrades to the East Coast Mainline corridor via York, Darlington and Durham
• Significant rail upgrades on the existing line between Leeds and Hull (via Selby)
• New road connection between the A65 and A658 to better connect Leeds Bradford Airport and support improve international connectivity for the North
• Upgrades along the A66 between the M6 and A1(M) to enhance East-West connectivity
• Junction capacity improvements and upgrades to dual carriageway for the A64 from Hopgrave Junction to Barton Hill.

Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director at Transport for the North, said: “It’s been a momentous few weeks for the North as civic and business leaders have approved both the Strategic Transport Plan and backed the high-level business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“For the people of Yorkshire, the plans mean they’ll have more choice over where to live and work, access to higher quality jobs and better connections to friends and family. It will give Yorkshire businesses more opportunities to collaborate, trade and grow.

“These plans represent our vision for a prosperous pan-Northern future and outline how investment in transport could transform our economy. Our plans are written by the North, for the North, and we welcome the support of political leaders in Yorkshire.”

Cllr Ian Gillies, Vice Chair of Transport for the North and leader of City of York Council said: “The history of York is forever linked with the success of early railways and this country’s railway heritage. The proud home of the first city station, we understand just how transformational investment in better transport links are, bringing more jobs and greater economic opportunities. These connections open our villages, towns and cities to the UK, and the world.

“The Strategic Transport Plan, Investment Programme and initiatives like the Major Road Network, give every corner of the north a powerful platform to make cases for transport schemes that will help re-balance our economy. By opening up the opportunity to create more jobs and attract diverse businesses we will encourage greater investment to secure long-term growth across the north.

“I’m proud to work with the region’s leaders to shape what we want a future transport infrastructure to look like and how we want it to improve economic opportunities for future generations.”

Cllr Judith Blake, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Lead on Transport and TfN Partnership Board representative, said: “This was a welcome opportunity for colleagues from York, North and West Yorkshire to discuss the positive impact these plans could have for all our communities.

“This plan represents a single united vision from the North, for the North, to reverse decades of underinvestment and deliver a transport network which supports our economic ambitions.

“We hope the Government will respond positively to these proposals which include plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail, serving Bradford, integrated with an upgraded trans-Pennine line, HS2 and local and regional services via a redeveloped Leeds Station.”

To read the find out more about the Strategic Transport Plan and the Investment Programme, click here.