Sheffield City Region LEP has welcomed Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan which calls for sustained prioritised investment in the region’s railways and roads over a 30-year period. The Plan, which aims to transform the economy by improving the way both people and goods travel around the North of England, will be published for public consultation early in the new year.
Sheffield City Region LEP Board lead member for Transport and Partner at international law firm CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, Martin McKervey, said:
“Sheffield City Region and TfN recognise that a long-term solution to the poor transport links across the southern Pennines between South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester is vital for economic growth in the North of England. We need better east-west road and rail connections for both passengers and freight.
“TfN has been working with Highways England, the DfT, Sheffield City Region and Greater Manchester to develop revised proposals for a better road connection across the Southern Pennines. The proposals to upgrade the A628 trans-Pennine route and wider connections would almost halve journey times between Manchester and Sheffield.
“We are also working closely with TfN to develop options for a Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) network which would provide fast and frequent rail links between the North’s major cities, including between Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. We believe that NPR has the potential to revolutionise the way that people in Sheffield City Region travel around the North. We are keen that TfN keeps its NPR options open at this stage to ensure that the project brings maximum economic benefit to Sheffield City Region.”
John Cridland, TfN Chairman, said,
“Transport for the North’s vision is of a thriving North of England, where modern transport connections drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life. Our plans would revolutionise travel around the North, particularly East–West links which have previously not received enough attention, and, by extension, will improve how the region does business.”
“For decades, the North has underperformed compared to the rest of England. Robust evidence shows that investing in quality infrastructure, as well as in other important areas such as education, skills development and research, could lead to more than 850,000 additional jobs in the North by 2050 and £100 billion additional Gross Value Added.
“Although what we’re looking at is investment in our roads and railways, this isn’t just about transport. It’s about ensuring that the North of England is a thriving region where people can learn, build a career and enjoy an excellent quality of life.”
The draft Plan will be subject to a thirteen-week public consultation early in 2018 and will be submitted to the Government in due course for Ministerial consideration. It will identify seven ‘corridors’ where transport improvements are needed to allow businesses to grow and job prospects to be increased. It also highlights two pan-Northern priorities for investment: Northern Powerhouse Rail and Integrated and Smart Travel.
To read more visit: http://www.transportforthenorth.com/leaders-unite-behind-draft-transport-plan/