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New northern rail franchises: vital first step to creating a Northern Powerhouse - IPPR North

Director of IPPR North, Ed Cox, responding to yesterday's announcement by the government on new rail franchises for the north.

"The new franchises for rail services in the north are a vital first step to creating a powerhouse economy and will be warmly welcomed by passengers and business.

"The co-commissioning by northern leaders through Rail North and the Department for Transport marks a step change in how the north can shape its destiny. It shows what can be achieved when decisions about the north are made in the north.

"But alongside improvements in services and the passenger offer, the challenge now for the new Transport for the North body is whether it can prise the necessary new funding for infrastructure projects on northern transport out of Whitehall in the March Budget.

"Analysis by northern leaders suggest between £15 and £65 billion of spending is required to transform the north's transport infrastructure. Projects such as the high-speed 'Hullapool' line linking east-to-west are what will be truly transformational and help make the Northern Powerhouse a reality."

Contact

Danny Wright – d.wright@ippr.org 07887 422 789

Sofie Jenkinson – s.jenkinson@ippr.org 07981 023 031

Lester Holloway – l.holloway@ippr.org 07585 772 633

Notes to Editors

IPPR's report 'Total transport authorities: A new deal for town and rural bus services' highlighted the need for a new settlement for buses and other forms of sustainable public transport. This report makes the case for creating 'total transport areas' spanning multiple local authority geographies, which should take charge of all transport-related funding and regulatory powers in order to sustain and improve vital bus services in our towns and rural areas. See: http://www.ippr.org/publications/total-transport-authorities-a-new-deal-for-town-and-rural-bus-services

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