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Central Pennines

Our work on this corridor will look at the case for improving east-west connectivity in the corridor for some of the North’s important economic centres in North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Hull and the Humber, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool, and the options for improving road, rail and waterborne capacity.

This corridor covers a major economic area of the North, home to global businesses, supply chains and economic assets. It contains the largest aerospace cluster in the U.K., including BAE Systems and Rolls Royce and has internationally competitive advantages in sectors such as the automotive and other advanced manufacturing industries. Freight and logistics is important in this corridor, connecting the Port of Liverpool with ports on the Humber as well as the international airports at Leeds Bradford and Liverpool.

Improving transport connections would support economic growth and attract businesses and investment to the North creating jobs and supporting the development of new housing.

There is high and growing demand for better road and rail links between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds which already exceeds capacity.

Work on this corridor will consider the following pan-northern objectives:

Potential improvements to transport infrastructure will consider the impacts of:

Central Pennines

The findings of our current work on this Strategic Development Corridor will inform our long-term Investment Programme to provide a pipeline of projects to support economic growth in the North between now and 2050.

Update | November 2018

This is an exciting month for the project teams. Using transport models that calculate future growth and transport demand, we have identified the optimal long-term investment programme. This identifies all the Pan-Northern interventions that need to be delivered from 2025 to 2050 to enable transformational growth in the North. These interventions focus on making the most of our current road and rail infrastructure, as well as influencing future transport policy. We are currently in the process of reviewing our findings with our partners to ensure that the programme is aligned with the North’s local transport authorities and National transport bodies aspirations. Once agreed, the programme will be published alongside our Strategic Transport Plan, early in 2019.

Connecting the Energy Coasts West and Wales

Click the corresponding squares in the timeline to find out more about each milestone

September 2017

Start of commission

The Central Pennines Strategic Development Corridor commission began in September 2017.
Our consultants, WSP/SDG, are working closely with managers and programme leads at Transport for the North, as well as our partners at Highways England, the Department for Transport, Network Rail and local authorities.
Work on the first three corridors is being delivered concurrently , and the consultant teams are working collaboratively to ensure consistency of approach across the North.

Public engagement on a number of the Strategic Corridors has already begun. To register your interest in attending a future event or to request more information please email

We have already started assessment work on the following Strategic Development Corridors:

Connecting the Energy Coasts West and Wales Strategic Development Corridors