Smart travel and a Trans-Pennine tunnel: Transport chiefs to outline 30-year vision

A 30-year transport plan for the North to be published early next year will 'revolutionise' the way people in the region travel and improve how it does business, according to the head of a new strategic body.

Transport for the North has set out its 30-year plan

Transport for the North has revealed today that its Strategic Transport Plan, which will set out the infrastructure needed to transform the region’s economy, will be published in draft form on January 16.

The document, which will be submitted to the Government in the hope that its recommendations will get funding to become a reality, focuses for the first time on seven economic ‘corridors’ where improvements will boost local job prospects and business.

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Two priorities for investment will be Northern Powerhouse Rail, a high speed line connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull, and London-style integrated and smart travel allowing people to move easily between different modes of transport.

Full details of the report have not been revealed, but TfN said yesterday that as part of efforts to align the new Northern Powerhouse Rail with HS2 there would be a junction at Stourton, near Leeds, allowing trains from Manchester, Sheffield and the Midlands to travel onto York, Teesside and the North East.

The organisation, which is set to become the country’s first sub-national transport body, has also revealed that it is working on a revised proposal for a Trans-Pennine Tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester.

The proposed tunnel would be shorter than the 20 mile versions previously proposed and include upgrades to the Woodhead Pass and new roads links east of Sheffield to avoid congestion.

John Cridland, TfN Chairman, said, “Transport for the North’s vision is of a thriving North of England, where modern transport connections drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life.”

He added: “For decades, the North has under-performed compared to the rest of England.”