Councils ask Treasury for Northern Hub commitment

Leaders of councils in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield have written to the Treasury in support of the £560m Northern Hub railway upgrade.

The councils claim it would generate £4bn across the North and will bring a boost to jobs and the economy.

The decision on funding will be made in the summer and if given the go ahead, work on the hub is expected to start April 2014.

On completion of the scheme 700 more trains would run everyday across the region. Fast trains would run at the rate of 4 an hour between Liverpool and Manchester and at 6 an hour between Manchester and Leeds.

Sir Richard Leese, of Manchester City Council said there was “no other infrastructure project in the country that will give the same benefit for the money spent.

“We’ll all benefit from the boost to jobs and the economy that the hub will provide.

“Now is a crucial time and we’re getting very close to when the Government have to make a decision about whether to fund the improvements or not.

“If Greater Manchester and the wider north are to reach their full economic potential, we need more capacity on our railways and faster, more frequent rail links between our cities, and that’s what the Northern Hub can deliver.”

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