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Railhub Archive
2007-10-04 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Transport minister announces proposal to transform rail capacity across the north

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Department for Transport

Transport minister announces proposal to transform rail capacity across the north

4 Oct 2007 12:40
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (136) issued by The Government News Network on 4 October 2007

The Department for Transport announced today its latest proposals for increasing rail capacity for Manchester and across the north on a visit by Transport Minister Rosie Winterton to Manchester Piccadilly station.

Following proposals by Northern Way, Network Rail has agreed to begin a detailed study on how best to increase the number of trains that are able to run through Manchester. This will enable more and faster trains to operate across the North, particularly key services between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

The increased capacity could also potentially allow faster and more direct services to Manchester Airport, and more freight traffic to connect with ports across the North.

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said:

"Following on from the strategy set out in this summer's Rail White Paper, I want to pursue the idea of a "Manchester Hub" as a priority, to help unlock more of the region's economic power. This Network Rail study will give us more details on how and when this could be done, what infrastructure would be required, and at what cost.

"This work, combined with our investment outlined in the White Paper and our improvements to the West Coast Main Line, demonstrate the growth the region is still capable of, and our commitment to encouraging that growth through effectively-funded transport schemes."

Leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese said:

"It is vital for the economy of the north of England that we build capacity in the Manchester rail hub.

"We're delighted that the Minister has announced top priority for these plans, which will boost services for passengers and freight between critical points in the North including Manchester Airport, the ports and other city regions such as Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle as well as within Greater Manchester itself

"We will be playing a full role in the planning process, and we look forward to working with Network Rail and all other partners to ensure that these developments will benefit everyone who lives, works and invests in Manchester , the wider city region and the North of England."

Today's announcement by Rosie Winterton is a major success for the work of the Northern Way in identifying clear transport priorities for the North as a whole.

Welcoming today's announcement Neville Chamberlain, Chair of the Northern Way Steering Group, said:

"We have been pressing the Department for Transport and Network Rail to undertake a detailed feasibility study for the Manchester Hub. This is a top priority for us. The Hub is the most damaging rail bottleneck in the North. It impacts on passenger services that cross and link Manchester with the North East, Yorkshire, Liverpool and Central Lancashire and it constrains the movement of freight out of the North's ports as well.

"We welcome Rosie Winterton taking action and look forward to working with Network Rail, the Greater Manchester PTE and other key stakeholders in developing the right solution for Manchester and its airport and for the North as a whole."
Notes to Editors

1. Proposals by the Northern Way for engineering work to allow trains to run between Piccadilly and Victoria stations in Manchester, and for a flyover south of Piccadilly station to allow trains coming from the direction of Ardwick to use the station, are among those that will be explored by Network Rail in their capacity study.

2. The Delivering a Sustainable Railway White Paper set out the Government's plans for increasing capacity on the railway, including a 30 year strategy and, and committed £15bn of subsidy for the railway over five years. The White Paper identified Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle as cities that will benefit from more carriages on urban services, as well as increasing capacity on the West Coast Main Line and introducing new Intercity Express trains to the East Coast Main Line.

3. The White Paper also set out plans for faster journey times on the Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds TransPennine route, and pledged to improve reliability so that 92% of trains will run on time. Bolton, Cleethorpes, Chester and Northallerton were identified as among those stations likely to benefit from a £150m pot for improving stations, and smartcard ticketing will be rolled out to cities outside of London and more widely on the rail network.

4. The Northern Way is a unique collaboration led by the three northern Regional Development Agencies (One NorthEast, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward) working with partners to close the £30 billion productivity gap between the North and the average for England over a 25 year period.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
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Railhub Archive ::: 2007-10-04 DfT-001


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