An aerial view of Manchester city centre, showing the buildings from above
The Mayor Transport

'A real breakthrough for Greater Manchester': Mayor responds to Government announcement on NPR

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has responded to a Written Ministerial Statement from the Transport Secretary (opens in new window) today (Monday 25 March) on the next steps for Northern Powerhouse Rail between Greater Manchester and Liverpool:

Today’s Ministerial statement is a real breakthrough for Greater Manchester. We have long argued for an underground option at Manchester Piccadilly and finally the door has been opened to it.

We are confident that it represents the best railway solution and also preserves precious land for wider economic regeneration, unlocking higher productivity for the region.

The fact that Northern Powerhouse Rail connects two Investment Zones in Manchester and Liverpool city centres, in addition to connecting directly to Manchester Airport, is a real game changer. It creates a new incentive to deliver the infrastructure that maximises economic growth over the rest of this century and beyond. At last there is the prospect of the UK Government having a level of ambition for the North of England that matches ours.

We are fast approaching the 200th anniversary of the original Liverpool to Manchester railway line, the first commuter line in the world. The most fitting way to mark it would be to build a railway which sets new standards for rail travel.

Following the disappointment of the HS2 cancellation, we acknowledge the way the government is now working differently with Mayors and Leaders on a more place-based approach to building a railway.  We look forward to continuing to work in this way and we are pleased that they are open to considering new ways of funding, including a land value capture model.

As welcome as this news is today, there is a missing piece in the railway jigsaw. This is between where HS2 ends north of Birmingham and the route of Northern Powerhouse Rail in Cheshire. We are not arguing for a return to HS2 but there does need to be an alternative if the UK is to have a modern railway network connecting East and West, and North and South.

Article Published: 25/03/2024 17:31 PM