Rail link between Liverpool and Manchester progresses - CILT(UK)
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Rail link between Liverpool and Manchester progresses

26 March 2024/Categories: Industry News, Active Travel & Travel Planning, Logistics & Supply Chain, Rail

The next steps for the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) between Manchester and Liverpool has been announced following extensive consultations with local leaders and MPs by Government ministers.

This announcement comes after the government's £36 billion Network North plan confirmed £12 billion to boost rail connections across the north, enabling the delivery of NPR as previously outlined.

As part of this plan, the Government engaged with local authorities and parliamentarians to gather their views on how this funding should be utilised and to consider any alternative proposals to improve connectivity.

Local leaders and MPs reached a consensus in support of NPR serving Warrington Bank Quay and Manchester Airport, utilising the broadly previously proposed route between Liverpool and Manchester.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “We are setting out the next steps for how we can transform east-west rail links in the North, helping to boost economic growth between key Northern cities as part of our Network North plan.

“I thank local leaders and local MPs for sharing their views and facilitating constructive conversations. I have heard a clear consensus, which means we can now take another crucial step towards delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail, part of this government’s plan to boost rail capacity, deliver faster journey times and offer better connectivity across the North.”

Taking these local views into account, this will be the primary option progressed to the next development stage for the Liverpool to Manchester route.

The Government have said they will continue assessing alternatives that meet NPR's objectives, in line with standard business case approval requirements. Any scheme must demonstrate value for money for taxpayers while supporting rail capacity needs in central Manchester and delivering faster journey times and better connectivity across the north.

Once completed, NPR will act as a catalyst for economic growth across the north by transforming east-west transport links, better connecting people to employment, education, and business opportunities, the Government says.

Passengers will benefit from quicker, more frequent services, potentially reducing journey times between Liverpool and Manchester Piccadilly from around 50 minutes to 35 minutes. They will also enjoy a "turn up and go" service with trains every 10-15 minutes. Capacity could treble between Liverpool and Leeds, offering an additional 2,100 seats per hour in each direction.

Lord McLoughlin, Chair of Transport for the North, said: “We welcome the progress of further engagement with Northern political and business leaders. It’s essential that any final route is place based and meets the ambitions of local leaders for their residents and businesses.

“Northern Powerhouse Rail is a key cornerstone to how we transform the North for generations to come. We look forward to working with the government to realise our shared ambition for a rail network that the people and businesses of the North truly deserve.”


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