Response to DfT announcement on the 'Northern Transport Council' and Trans-Pennine Upgrade

The Department for Transport has announced £589 million for work to upgrade the Trans-Pennine rail network and the establishment of a new Northern Transport Acceleration Council.

Responding to the DfT announcement on the 'Northern Transport Council' and Trans-Pennine Upgrade, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Transport Lead for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said:

“We welcome any opportunity to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure projects in the North. Through Transport for the North, Northern leaders have championed northern investment and it’s important that we can continue to be directly involved in shaping these vital projects.

“We are keen to see the full details of this announcement, especially the extent of the Trans-Pennine route upgrade and we ask Government to set out what the full benefits for passengers will be.

“To truly level up, the UK needs HS2 delivered in full as part of an integrated network with Northern Powerhouse Rail with a line through Bradford city centre, as well as a fully upgraded Trans-Pennine route, investment in the Calder Valley line and improved resilience on the East Coast Main Line, to rebalance the economy and address the poor transport links between cities in the North and Midlands.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“While we welcome the additional investment to upgrade the Trans-Pennine route, we will be seeking reassurance that the plans are still based upon the full electrification of the line, which will provide the optimum improvements in terms of journey times for people travelling between Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Manchester and beyond and support our carbon reduction plans.

"Our priorities for the region remain for both Northern Powerhouse Rail and a fully electrified Trans-Pennine route to boost our economic growth and to improve the lives of millions of people. We will continue to call for these projects to be delivered as soon as possible.”

The announcement can be found on the Department for Transport website.