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Summit to be held as northern cities demand more cash

Summit to be held as northern cities demand more cash

Civic leaders and business leaders in northern cities are to hold a summit as they press the case for more funding for transport infrastructure in the 'Northern Powerhouse area'.

The meeting is taking place amid anger at the recent cancellation of government plans to electrify the trans-pennine route between Manchester and Leeds, swiftly followed by the announcement of a deal with London mayor Sadiq Khan to proceed with Crossrail 2, the BBC reports.

Representatives from the cities of Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds are concerned that government support for the Northern Powerhouse has dwindled since George Osborne and David Cameron were in office. Although no longer in parliament, Mr Osborne is now a member of a thinktank dedicated to campaigning for the Northern Powerhouse.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has already expressed his anger at the Crossrail decision, and this view was echoed by shadow cabinet minister Angela Rayner. 
She said: "This is a real kick in the teeth again, showing that the Conservatives don't care about us in the north.

"If we're really going to be a powerhouse across the north then they've got to give us that infrastructure."

The expectation of the lines across the Pennines being electrified was in line with the idea of a 'Crossrail of the North', although that alone would have fallen short of the HS3 idea outlined by Mr Osborne in 2013.

Responding to criticisms of the policy decisions, the Department for Transport insisted the government is spending heavily on road and rail infrastructure in the north, with the region set to benefit from HS2 when phase two of the project is completed, linking Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield to the system.

However, the IPPR North thinktank has just published research indicating that if the north had received as much funding per head as London for transport infrastructure, it would have received £59 billion more over the last decade.

Image: DfT


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