TfN demands evidence base for proposed changes

The organisation, which is tasked with driving economic growth in the North, has thrown its weight behind the calls of Andy Burnham and other civic figureheads for the government to see through in full its commitment to strategic rail improvements in the region.

David Brown, chief executive of Transport for the North, said: “It is vital that the North get the outputs which were originally committed from the Transennine route upgrade and the Northern Hub, which included increased capacity and journey time improvements.

“Full delivery of these outputs is the baseline upon which we are planning the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.  Any changes to the TransPennine route upgrade and the Northern Hub need to be both evidence-based and complimentary to longer term Northern Powerhouse Rail aspirations.”

Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, has been prominent on national news in reacting to comments by Secretary of State Chris Grayling that full electrification of the key Manchester-Leeds route might not take place, and that the Northern Hub improvements at Manchester Piccadilly could also be in doubt.

Figures including Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram and the leaders of Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle city councils joined him in a statement denouncing any backsliding on government spending. The group is to meet before Parliament returns in September to formulate strategy.

Transport for the North, which is to become a statutory body, said it is continuing to develop its strategic transport plan and make the case for investment in the northern transport network, to deliver transformational connectivity and economic benefits, as set out in the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review.

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The Government was always going to do this after the northern cities were devolved , there is a legal cap on what Network Rail can spend on rail infrastructure and they are at it . Transport for the North will have to pay for the rail improvements out of their own money when they become a statutory body , they have known this was going to happen for ages that’s why the Minister for Transport is calling it mischief making by Burnham , Manchester and the other cities will get the money they were always going to get and declare it a great victory . After all the cities will benefit £4 for every £1 spent so MCC said at the public inquiry why should the Goverment pay for it ?

By Barny

Only Manchester and Liverpool are devolved

By Elephant

I think we will be left high and dry in the NP and we will have to survive on the limited budgets and take the blame for the cutbacks, clever government or what?

By Democrayee

Shame Transport for the North haven’t been equally as vocal in demanding from government evidence supporting Liverpool’s exclusion from the HS2 line, which instead bypasses it.

By Mike

A cross-Pennine route has been made more difficult than it need by HS2 putting their Leeds station south of the Aire and at right angles to Leeds City station, and by putting their Manchester station at Piccadilly. It would be far better to take The Route from Liverpool Lime St, along the Stephenson’s original Liverpool – Manchester route to Manchester Victoria through Chadderton and on viaduct over Newhey to Moss Moor Top (gradient 1;80) and follow the M62 to Leeds City and leave at Eaves height to the Yorkshire plain, Northwards to Newcastle, Eastwards to Hull and Southwards to Sheffield, as discussed in my website, Why does a HS2, a government department, do things in such a way as to make it harder for government to keep its promises?

By Michael Bell