THERE has been a step forward in Northern Powerhouse Rail as leaders have agreed an initial preferred way forward.
At a Transport for the North meeting yesterday agreed a rail network stretching from Hull to Liverpool, and from Sheffield to the North East, with construction work beginning in four years time.
The new rail network will link with HS2, sharing tracks, stations and junctions.
A line from Leeds to Manchester will run through the centre of Bradford among the many proposals agreed by Northern leaders.
The proposals will now be sent to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and further decisions are set to be made in January, with an updated business case to be submitted in Spring 2021.
Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail director, said: “This is a significant moment for Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“We have an initial preferred way forward for a rail network that will deliver thousands of jobs, cut carbon emissions and slash journey times between the North’s towns, cities and beyond.
“With the need to build back better following the Covid-19 pandemic, delivery of long-term, job-creating infrastructure projects like Northern Powerhouse Rail need to be a critical component of the agenda.
“The preferred network would be transformational for the North’s economy and allow Northern workers access to enhanced opportunities through a wider jobs market.
“We’ll now enter discussions with Government and look at ways in which the number of remaining options can be further shortlisted and delivery accelerated for the sake of the North’s communities and future.”