Once in a lifetime opportunity – Northern Transport Strategy

Published 20th March 2015 at 10:11am

Sheffield City Region’s Transport for the North Partnership Board Member, and Leader of Sheffield City Sheffield, Cllr Julie Dore, said:

“The Northern Transport Strategy provides a much-needed platform to improve infrastructure and connections across the North of England. Through the Strategy we have identified the transport needs of the Sheffield City Region, and how these may best be realised.

“Northern city regions have worked together with LEPs and Government to bring forward a proposal that will offer a once-in-a-generation-chance to make major and truly transformational improvements to the North’s transport systems. Enabling the use of devolved powers to revolutionise travel to and from the cities in the North and their surrounding City Regions, with infrastructure projects that are realistic, sustainable, and most importantly, enable economic growth.

“The Northern Transport Strategy proposals – such as significantly reduced rail journey times between cities, improvements to the Strategic Highway network in terms of capacity and resilience, a real and fundamental acknowledgement of the important role of freight, together with an investigation into accelerating the construction of the Sheffield to Leeds section of HS2 – will all be part of the Sheffield City Region’s future success.

“It will create opportunities for the movement of people across the North of England, to better enable the sharing of skills and ideas through access to employment and business to business activity, cementing the North as a global centre for innovation and trade. The Sheffield City Region is well placed to maximise on the opportunities that the Northern Transport Strategy will provide.”

The Northern Transport Strategy initiatives, schemes and priorities to be developed, include options for:

Rail

  • Achieving 20-minute journey times between Liverpool and Manchester on a new TransNorth rail network
  • Achieving 30-minute journey times between Manchester and Leeds and Manchester and Sheffield
  • Exploring the option to create a new rail line across the Pennines from Manchester linking with HS2 between Sheffield and Leeds to create a high speed network between the three cities
  • Exploring the option for a new rail line from Manchester to Sheffield along a similar route to the potential road tunnel which is also being explored
  • Achieving 45-minute journey times between Leeds and Hull and 50-minute journey times between Sheffield and Hull
  • 140 mph trains between Leeds and Newcastle potentially cutting journey times by up to 35 minutes

Highways

  • Upgrading the M62 to four lanes of Smart Motorway along its entire length from east of Leeds to Manchester
  • Transforming the M6 to a four lane Smart Motorway between Junction 16 (Stoke on Trent) and 19 (Knutsford) and between Junction 21A (Warrington) and 26 (Wigan)
  • Completing the upgrade of the A1 to provide continuous motorway standard between London and Newcastle
  • Upgrading the M1 J32-35a and 39 to 42 to Smart Motorway to enable hard shoulder running
  • Improving road links to the major ports in Liverpool, Hull and Humber supporting freight
  • Developing the next generation of major road improvements to address east-west connectivity and strategic bottlenecks
  • Exploring the possibility of a major new road link under the Pennines between Sheffield and Manchester – to take HGV and other traffic out of the Peak District national park and protect the natural heritage
  • Exploring options to significantly upgrade the A66 from Scotch Corner to Penrith and the A69 from Newcastle to Carlisle – both aimed at better connecting the M6 to the A1
  • Exploring options to resolve congestion on the M60 (junctions 8 – 18) and M62 between Manchester and Warrington

Freight

  • Delivering a comprehensive upgrade to the A5036 to the Port of Liverpool
  • Delivering significant upgrades to the M62 and M60 to provide faster and more reliable journeys
  • Completing work to assess options for new Trans-Pennine tunnels (including both road and rail options)  to provide relief for the A628 from Manchester to Sheffield
  • Studying options to dual the A66 or the A69 in the Northern Pennines
  • Completing a series of upgrades to the A1(M) to improve journey reliability to distribution centres around Doncaster and Sheffield and improving access to Tees Port
  • Continuing to improve the A19 from North Yorkshire to Newcastle, which would support access at the Ports of Tyne and Tees
  • Completing the upgrade to the A160/A180 to the Port of Immingham, including fully upgrading the A160 to dual carriageway between the A180 and the Port
  • Completing the upgrade of the A63 Castle Street between Hull and the M62
  • Working with northern ports to ensure that their expansion plans are accounted for when developing the wider distribution network
  • Producing a northern multi-modal freight and logistics strategy to inform future development of transport investment plans. This strategy will be developed over the next 12 months and will be published in 2016

Smart ticketing and fares

  • Taking immediate action to simplify rail fares across the North, eliminating the unfair price differences that exist at present
  • Drawing up proposals for a fares structure areas for an integrated northern travel area connecting the North
  • Aligning the different tickets and approaches in northern cities
  • Engaging with public and private operators of public transport to agree appropriate ways of introducing new technology


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