Manchester City Council

One North to Another

At the BBC for 6.15 yesterday morning for the first of a number of media spots highlighting the publication of One North, a strategic transport investment plan for the North. The Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield city-regions have been working on this for around six months. It's multi-modal - rail, road, air, sea, and digital. Freight, often an afterthought, is in there from the beginning. It's aim is to build on HS2 and improve connectivity between the major economic and population centres of the North - cities, ports and airports.

It only deals with investment proposals that are of genuinely pan-Northern significance but makes it clear that to be fully effective, it not only needs the North-South capacity that HS2 will bring, but also effective local transport plans so that every part of the region can benefit. It's a fifteen year plan and includes improved management of the existing road network including some infill schemes, more and better trains, and continued improvements to the rail network including filling in some gaps.

Undoubtedly the centrepiece though is the aim to build by 2030 a new railway line linking HS2 between Sheffield and Leeds to Manchester and Manchester Airport, reducing rail travel times to thirty minutes, with Liverpool-Manchester down to twenty minutes. All of this would allow the North to function as a single economy with the scale to be competitive in comparison with the biggest cities in the world. The plans need further work but they are realistic, deliverable and affordable. They are also ambitious and if an ambitious North gets behind them, unstoppable.

I went straight from the One North launch to the Licensing Committee, where I was supporting constituents opposing an off-licence application in a particularly inappropriate part of my ward. A bit of a contrast with the high-level strategic transport stuff, and as always the sort of Council work guaranteed to keep your feet on the ground. A two and a half hour wait for the hearing to start ( residents had already been waiting an hour when I arrived ) and the hearing itself running to almost three hours. I'm delighted to say that the residents won and the application was refused.

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There is one response to “One North to Another”

  1. Concerned Says:

    Have these blogs stopped now?

 

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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