I have today secured the support of a group of over eighty Parliamentarians to sign a letter to the Chancellor about what is needed in terms of commitment to the full Transport for the North Strategic Plan. In the letter we call on the Chancellor to commit a total of £120bn by 2050 to include strategic transport schemes as well as local transport investment. We believe that this investment could create 850,000 jobs and result in a total of £100bn in economic growth.
I am Co-Chair of the Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group which is made up of Conservative and Labour MPs, Peers and business and civic leaders who have joined together to enable the North of England to speak with one voice and to ensure the region increases its contribution to the UK economy.
As well as faster journey times, enhanced capacity and greater frequency, NPR would provide opportunities for our young people to secure the skilled jobs we need to drive productivity and link up the great cities of the North to stimulate economic growth. It is vital that NPR is delivered to the North alongside HS2, to create a high-speed network for the whole of the country and open up labour markets that are currently not accessible for young people across the North today. With HS2 and NPR it is not a case of either/or – we need both.
Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central and co-chair of the NP APPG said: “The North East is a vital part of the Northern Powerhouse, and we need to ensure that cities like Sunderland benefit to unlock the economic opportunities of being better connected to Leeds or Liverpool, as well as better transport for commuting across and within the North East itself. In the Comprehensive Spending Review, we need to see the North of England getting the full amount we need - and a cross party consensus to last us the thirty years it will still take to close the North–South divide.”
Last week the Chancellor committed himself to the case for the economics behind the project, which has been government policy for five years since the Northern Powerhouse was first adopted.