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IPPR North: TransPennine electrification puts the Northern Powerhouse back on track – but we need to see radical investment and devolution

Director of IPPR North, Ed Cox, response to the announcement the electrification of the TransPennine railway will be resumed

“The pausing of this critical project to electrify the line between Manchester and Leeds was very unfortunate and a set back for the credibility of the Northern Powerhouse.

“But we warmly welcome the news that this will crucial work will be carried out. Linking our great northern cities is the first step to creating a stronger north: underinvestment in transport connectivity means the north of England cannot behave as a single economy. Figures show there are 40 per cent fewer commuter journeys between Leeds and Manchester than there should be, given their physical proximity.

“Now we would urge the government to use the Spending Review and Control Period 6 to ensure the Northern Powerhouse can go full steam ahead. We need to see new cash, real money, spades in the ground on the range of projects put forward by northern leaders which can transform the region’s prospects.

“This needs to go hand-in-hand with a radical devolution of powers and budget to Transport for the North, to avoid the piecemeal approach to rebuilding the north’s creaking infrastructure.”

Contact

Danny Wright – d.wright@ippr.org 07887 422789

Notes to Editors

IPPR North’s Rhetoric to Reality report sets out the scale and scope of the infrastructure investment needed in the Spending Review and beyond to unlock the potential of the north:http://www.ippr.org/publications/rhetoric-to-reality-a-business-agenda-for-the-northern-powerhouse

Our blueprint for Transport for the North shows how the north can shape its destiny by seeing devolution of powers and budget from the Department for Transport to a statutory body to lead on the North’s strategic transport needs: http://www.ippr.org/publications/transport-for-the-north-a-blueprint-for-devolving-and-integrating-transport-powers-in-england

The north has seen underinvestment in transport for many years. Expenditure per head on transport capital in the North was £166 in 2013/14, which is half that in London (£332) and less than the average spend across UK regions (£189). Looking to the future, the national infrastructure pipeline shows that London and the South East will continue to swallow up the lion’s share of transport investment.

IPPR’s report The Chancellor’s choices show how the upcoming Spending Review could invest in the ‘One North’ package of transport investment within the Department for Transport’s capital budget, to put it on course for completion in 2030: http://www.ippr.org/publications/the-chancellors-choices

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