The Department for Transport has provided further details on where it will look to spend a £300m cash pot for the northern rail network in the run-up to HS2.
At the Conservative Party conference in October, chancellor Philip Hammond, announced 'a further £300m to future-proof the railway network in the north, ensuring HS2 infrastructure can link up with future Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Rail projects while keeping open all options for services through Manchester Piccadilly'.
In a recent written Parliamentary question, Labour's Jo Platt, MP for the Leigh constituency, asked 'what the eligibility criteria will be' for the planned £300m infrastructure funding.
Rail minister Paul Maynard revealed: 'In October the chancellor announced £300m to ensure that HS2 infrastructure can accommodate future Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and Midlands Connect services. This includes connections:
- in the Leeds area, enabling trains from for example Sheffield and the Midlands to travel via Leeds and on to York and the North East;
- to the HS2 Western Leg line to connect Liverpool to Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly stations;
- in the Manchester area to enable NPR services from Liverpool to continue from Manchester Piccadilly station east towards for example Leeds; and
- to enable services from East Midlands to the North to travel via HS2, for example between Leicester and Leeds.
'These uses of HS2 infrastructure could be reflected in the Phase 2b hybrid bill if practical and affordable propositions can be developed that deliver value for money for the taxpayer whilst ensuring significant benefits for passengers.'