Hammond announces £400m for Northern Powerhouse


The Conservatives have announced a spending boost for transport infrastructure in the North of England, with £300m for improvements to the rail network and £100m from existing budgets for roads.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the extra cash for railways in the North at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday.

He said: 'I am announcing 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.'

Reports said £100m for 33 road schemes would come from existing budgets. The Department for Transport said it was unable to give details on the announcement as it came from the Conservative Party.

Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: ‘Today’s speech from the Chancellor is extremely positive in terms of strengthening of the northern economy via infrastructure delivery.

‘With committed long-term investment from Westminster, we believe the north of England is able to take real steps in the delivery of world-class infrastructure, driving forward jobs and growth.

‘We would now urge the Government to capitalise on its investment, by putting Transport for the North on a statutory footing as soon as possible, and by enabling the transport delivery body to have similar powers as Transport for London in the long term through the raising of its own private finance.'

Stephen Joseph, chief executive at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘We welcome today’s announcement of £300m for rail infrastructure in the North of England, but passengers and communities will want to see what this means in detail.

‘We hope that the £100m announced for roads will go on fixing the existing ones where there is a big backlog on maintenance, rather than on one or two big new roads that will just move the traffic jams around.’


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