Government is aiming to “revolutionise” travel in the north of Britain by setting out plans for a road investments and a new TransNorth rail system.
The recommendations are detailed in a report published by Transport for the North (TfN) and cover everything from roads, rail, freight, airports and smart ticketing.
The report sets out a long-term strategy to connect the north, create a single economy and allow northern towns and cities to pool their strengths.
The plans include developing new east-to-west road connections, including the construction of a road tunnel underneath the Peak District; investing in high speed rail to cut journey times between major northern cities; and introducing Oyster-style travel cards and simpler fares across northern transport links.
Improvements to the road network will include the expansion of the M62 to four lanes between Leeds and Manchester, an upgrade of the M6 to four lanes, the development of a continuous motorway standard on the A1 between London and Newcastle and widening the M1 to four lanes in Yorkshire and Humber.
Chancellor George Osborne, who helped set up Transport for the North, said, “Connecting up the great cities of the North is at the heart of our plan to build a Northern powerhouse.
“From backing high speed rail to introducing simpler fares right across the North, our ambitious plans for transport mean we will deliver a truly national recovery where every part of the country will share in Britain’s prosperity.”
SMMT Commercial Vehicle Development Manager Nigel Base welcomes the news. “This announcement is good news for business and for the UK as a whole,” he said. “Investment in our roads and transport infrastructure is critical and couldn’t come soon enough. We cannot afford to stifle economic growth through poor infrastructure, and with congestion and journey times on key routes getting worse, it’s not before time.”