Support from London business group for a 'Crossrail for the North’

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the government to seriously explore the construction of the so-called ‘Crossrail for the North’ rail line.

LCCI believes that it is in the best interests of the whole UK if strategic transport infrastructure is not concentrated mainly in the south east area.

Policy director of London Chamber of Commerce, Sean McKee said: “London is heading towards megacity status with 10 million people by 2030 and while we seek the right infrastructure here, it is important that the rest of the country continues to grow as well. At present, cross-country travelling between the great northern cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield is a tortuous, time consuming experience. That is not good for business or Britain plc.”

Those northern city areas have a collective population of nine million, which is broadly similar to London’s current population. It is also interesting to note that while the distance between Leeds and Liverpool is roughly the same as the whole length of London Underground’s Central Line, the comparable northern journey can sometimes nearly take double the time.

“LCCI is happy to endorse previous calls for a ‘Crossrail of the North’, said McKee. “The proposed cross-Pennine plans involve tunnelling and the skills and experience from the new Elizabeth Line/Crossrail project in London could be put to good use to deliver practical connectivity. We are clear we want Crossrail Two but we also need to consider a Crossrail for the north,” he said.

McKee  added: “As the UK faces into a post Brexit future, our economy will be much stronger if we create opportunities for jobs and future growth beyond the capital. London’s ‘Crossrail Two’ and a ‘Crossrail North’ could be given the green light to proceed together, helping create the environment to compete and seize new economic opportunities”.


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