Mayor: We need more rail money

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

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.

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