Yesterday representatives from two countries, six cities and four political parties met in Manchester Town Hall to discuss forming a campaign for a national High-Speed Rail network.
More on that in a few weeks but later today I will be again experiencing why we desperately need such a network when I take the train to Leeds - almost an hour for a journey of little more than fifty kilometres. I'm going for a Northern Way steering group meeting where one of the major themes is transport. They've been supporting work on case-making for high-speed rail but even with a successful campaign that would be many years away. In the meantime we could improve journey times to places like Leeds significantly if we could tackle railway congestion in what is known as the Manchester hub and work done, again for the Northern Way, shows that this could not only lead to quicker, cleaner journeys but also add £billions to the economy of the North of England.
Before that a shorter journey, back to Crumpsall, to witness the signing of the development agreement for the new King David schools. This is just one element of the city's £700m investment in schools programme - a programme that is keeping 8000 people in work, supporting 458 apprentices and trainees and of course creating a first class learning environment for our children.