Leaders across the North of England are calling for a dedicated ‘Northern Budget’ to provide better opportunities for people and businesses in the region.
Transport for the North (TfN) are asking the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to overhaul the Treasury’s approach to investment decision-making to ensure funding for infrastructure projects across Northern England.
TfN’s members have written to the Chancellor to outline their three core asks from a ‘Northern Budget.’ These are:
- Commitment to build the £39 billion Northern Powerhouse Rail network in full by 2040
- Commit to a £7 billion Northern Infrastructure Pipeline of road and rail projects in the early 2020s
- Commitment of £1 billion for TfN over the next three years to deliver its vision
Barry White, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said:
Our work clearly shows that alternative approaches are not only viable but offer a transformational view of infrastructure investment that would enable the “levelling up” of our region.
“We believe we’re on the path to devolution, and that by setting out a dedicated Northern Budget the Chancellor can empower the North to make the most of our ambitions.”
In recent weeks, the government has already committed to the HS2 high-speed rail link, and has brought in the Operator of Last Resort to take over from Arriva Rail North in running the Northern franchise. No commitment has been made for other projects, despite the Prime Minister’s positive comments.
Northern Powerhouse Rail, often referred to as HS3, will create an improved East-West link between the North’s major cities. TfN’s Northern Infrastructure Pipeline includes road schemes and smaller scale but essential projects, such as work on the Castlefield Corridor in Manchester City Centre, where local disruption can cause delays across the wider region.
Our work takes a collaborative approach, and it is clear that by speaking together with one voice we can put the needs of our region high on the national agenda.
“Now we need to see political commitments being put into action, and a Northern Budget would be a solid basis on which we can truly power up the North’.”