Writing to the Chancellor, Imran has urged the Government to put Northern Powerhouse Rail to the front of the queue of planned infrastructure projects in the planned 2019 Budget on 06 November.

According to Transport for the North’s (TfN) Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) plans, the project which will see Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle connecting through a new high-speed, high-capacity rail route spanning from East to West, will bring millions more people and hundreds of thousands more businesses within the reach of each key economic centre in the North.

As a result, citing TfN’s research, Imran states that this will enable the North to treble the number of businesses able to access four or more cities or the key hub of Manchester Airport within 90 minutes, allowing growth to spread out with the creation of 35,000 more jobs in city centres and£3.4 billion of Gross Value Added to the North’s economy.

In addition, the TfN report also states that NPR will also result in tens of thousands more seats on rail journeys into key cities that will take over 60,000 car journeys per day off the road and boost the UK’s ability to reduce carbon emissions by providing a cleaner, more efficient low-carbon alternative.

However, following the announcement of the Oakervee Review of HS2 by the Department of Transport in August 2019, and the uncertainty created by the review given that it has no fixed end date to report its findings and conclusions by, Imran has expressed serious concerns that the future of NPR and the extent of its route has been cast into doubt.

Consequently, he has therefore called on the Chancellor to announce additional investment in the project in his 2019 Budget due to be delivered on 06 November 2019 to put it to the front of the queue of planned infrastructure projects whilst accelerating and protecting it to ensure that it continues despite the uncertainty over HS2.

Speaking on his call to the Chancellor, Imran said:

“The Prime Minister spent much of the Summer talking about the North, and he and his Chancellor must now put their money where their mouth is and inject additional funding into the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail so that we can truly get this project off the ground.

“After years of being ignored with underinvestment in our transport infrastructure that has effectively separated the key cities across the North, it is time that we properly connected ourselves together and allowed the North to function as a single economy and challenge London for its supremacy as an economic powerhouse.

“Northern Powerhouse Rail running from Liverpool to Manchester, to Bradford, to Leeds and on to Hull and Newcastle will be a gamechanger for Bradford and the whole of the North, with improved connectivity creating thousands of additional jobs and unlocking millions of pounds in growth whilst delivering reliable, low-carbon transport throughout the region

“It is also wrong that the future of high-speed rail in the North has been put into doubt by the Government’s review of HS2, and they must commit to ensuring that regardless of this review’s outcome, Northern Powerhouse Rail and other improvements will go ahead and that the North will still receive additional infrastructure funding.”

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