National Infastructure Commission
A report by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) includes the following suggestions:
– Transport for the North (TfN) – representing six city regions in the North – calls for a higher speed, higher capacity, higher frequency network across all major linkages in the North from Liverpool to Hull and Newcastle. NIC agrees and sees HS3 as the network to deliver.
– Development should prioritise links likeliest to provide strongest benefits – beginning with the crucial Trans-Pennine rail route between Leeds and Manchester. NIC recommends a two part plan for the route to reduce journey time by 40% from 49 minutes to 30 minutes, and improve capacity and frequency.
– Network Rail, in conjunction with TfN and the DfT, should prepare for this by the end of 2017. In parallel TfN should work with DfT , Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and others to prepare to the same time-scale a single integrated strategy, combining short-term action with long-term vision
– This would support the overall plan for HS3 and bring together the Trans-Pennine upgrade plan with: design of the northern phase of HS2, and redevelopment of Manchester Piccadilly
Urgent M62 Improvements
– On the strategic road network, Highways England should accelerate capacity enhancements between Leeds and Manchester and Liverpool and Manchester. Substantial funding should be brought forward, to accelerate both schemes, beginning between Liverpool and Manchester in 2017/2018 – two years ahead of schedule – and between Leeds and Manchester also significantly fast-tracked.
– Upgrading between junctions 20 – 25 to a four lane motorway would mark the first time since 1971 that new capacity has been created linking the two sides of the Pennines.
The full report can be found here