Mayor: We need more rail money
THE metro mayor has claimed £300m for developing rail infrastructure across the North is a ‘modest down payment on what’s really needed’.
Steve Rotheram has reacted to a funding package which includes proposals for passive provision for a new line from Liverpool connecting to the HS2 network as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.
While Liverpool City Region metro mayor Mr Rotheram – whose combined authority area includes Halton, St Helens, Knowsley, Liverpool, Wirral and Sefton – has acknowledged the funding, he claims it is a ‘modest down payment’ on what is really required to rebalance the UK economy.
He said: “Northern leaders through Transport For The North were clear about our priorities for Northern Powerhouse Rail and we welcome this announcement by the Chancellor as it enables us to progress with plans that would not only give us direct connectivity to the High Speed network but would also mean that the proposed Crossrail For The North has moved to the next stage and could start in Liverpool.
“This represents a significant step in the journey, but it is a modest down payment on what is really needed to rebalance our economy.”
“£300m sounds like a substantial investment, and it is certainly a step in the right direction following Chris Grayling’s initial cancellation of the Leeds–Manchester electrification earlier in the summer.”
The metro mayor has been campaigning with other political and business leaders for a commitment from Government to honour the manifesto pledge to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail or Crossrail For The North.
It would create a new west to east line connecting Northern cities and facilitating greater economic agglomeration.