The Government has taken control of rail services across the North, a month after transport secretary Grant Shapps stripped Northern of its franchise, and will pursue an “ambitious plan” to improve the ailing network with the help of an advisory panel of local leaders.
Transport for the North has backed the Government’s plans to dovetail High Speed 2 with rail projects in the North, saying “the sooner we start delivering these improvements, the sooner passengers will get the modern rail services they deserve”.
Major infrastructure projects such as High Speed 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail are unlikely to level up the North West and curb growing regional divides, according to a report to be launched in Salford this week.
The proposed £120m redesign of Liverpool’s Rocket junction, the congestion hotspot at the end of the M62, is to advance to the next stage after the Department for Transport confirmed it would contribute £1.25m towards an outline business case.
The North West scooped the highest value of infrastructure contract awards in 2019 of all UK regions, thanks mainly to the £1.5bn Sellafield decommissioning project, according to data analyst Barbour ABI.
Stockport Council and Transport for Greater Manchester are set to request between £500m and £1bn from the Government to deliver an extension of the Metrolink line from East Didsbury to the town centre.