Infrastructure plans move north for the Autumn Statement

Infrastructure investment in the north is to be a major part of the Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne announced on Tuesday following publication of a report from five major northern cities outlining plans for billions of pounds of spending mostly on transport schemes up to 2030.

Leeds Town Hall

Osborne said he was “ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science” to support his Northern Powerhouse vision, announced in June. The intention is to deliver real improvement in the economic performance of the north of England, he said.

“This will be the centerpiece of my Autumn Statement and part of our long term economic plan for the country,” he said.

He will also be outlining in the Statement proposals to offer cities opting to have elected mayors increased devolution and civic powers.

The cities report One North produced by Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle is a response to Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse speech in June.  

It pulls together existing schemes and makes proposals for new investment to maximise the benefits of HS2 that would help transform the north’s economy (see below).

The otherwise uncosted collection of investments includes £10bn to £15bn on

-           a 125mph trans Pennine rail route, including a major tunnelled section  priced at £5bn

-           city region’s equipped with new cross city networks

-           a set of new freight and logistics terminals and port access routes

-           a set of highways investments to complete the national network in the north.


The proposals


-       Northern Hub and electrification between Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds- Hull and Middlesbrough and new rolling stock

-       Midland Mainline electrification

-       Complete all national pipeline strategic highway schemes



-       Further electrification across the north

-       40 minute journey times between Leeds-Manchester and improved services between Manchester and Sheffield

-       Managed motorways complete across the M62/M56/M60, north-south on the M1 and M6/M61

-       Highway network gaps from the north east to South Yorkshire and northwards towards Scotland closed

-       Rail/light rail connection to Leeds Bradford airport

By 2026

-       With HS2 delivered earlier as far as Crewe, provide additional capacity and capability for onward links to Manchester, Liverpool,   Warrington and to both inland freight terminals and ports

-       Speeded up (140mph) and more reliable ECML and new route to serve Newcastle

-       Cross city region suburban services for Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford and Newcastle

By 2030

-       New tunnelled trans Pennine route at 125mph

-       Recasting HS2 in Yorkshire – bring forward Leeds-Sheffield section in conjunction with new trans Pennine route

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