Northern Leaders call on the Government to put more money into improving transport projects across the region

Northern leaders are calling on the Government to "rebuild and transform the North" by committing to a ?5 billion Northern Infrastructure Pipeline of road, rail, active travel and smart ticketing projects over the next few years. This would create up to 20,000 construction and design jobs and deliver a ?3 return on investment for every ?1 spent.

Some of the priorities for our region include the restoration of the Tyne Bridge, a new River Tees Crossing, contactless payments on the Metro and the hydrogen train trial which is due to take place on Teesside.

The Tyne Bridge was last painted in 2000 - with paint that had an 18-year lifespan Credit: ITV

Some of the work could be started over the next 6-18 months - helping the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barry White, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said:  

"Our focus must be on rebuilding the North's economy, which was already at an economic disadvantage to the South before COVID-19 hit. Our Economic Recovery Plan outlines quick-fire ways to rapidly invest in shovel-ready infrastructure projects and initiatives, helping rebuild and transform the North over the next few years. 

"We believe that'll not only deliver an economic prize, to the tune of 20,000 jobs and a return of ?3 for every ?1 spent but - more importantly - a social return.

It'll help better connect communities, slash carbon emissions from transport in the North and support people in living healthier lives. 

"The Economic Recovery Plan, and the Northern Infrastructure Pipeline within it, is aimed at how we rebuild and transform the North."

These plans show Northern leaders coming together at a time of national crisis and putting a united, pragmatic plan to our partners in Government, outlining some of the priority projects and when they could be delivered with the right will and collaboration.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration at Durham County Council said: "Investment in our transport network has long been vital to rebuilding our region's economy and is imperative in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Good transport links are a major factor for businesses considering investing in an area and have been instrumental in the creation of sites such as Newton Aycliffe Business Park, along with the development of Integra 61 near Durham and Jade Business Park near Seaham, which will deliver more than 6,000 jobs for the region.

"The Northern Infrastructure Pipeline builds upon this success.

Reopening the Leamside Line is a good example, as this would not only make rail services more accessible to residents but it would increasing capacity at Durham Railway Station, bringing more people into the county and boosting our economy."

Credit: Durham Council

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the City of York Council said: "Investment in our region's transport infrastructure and the success of Transport for the North is vital to the future of our city, whether that be economic growth, connecting our communities or building sustainable transport networks.

It is crucial that the Government lives up to its promises to York and the North of England and provides the infrastructure and transport investment required to unlock the full potential of the North and enable us to deliver a sustainable long-term recovery.

"By backing the Northern Infrastructure Pipeline, the Government has a real chance to ensure that immediate steps are taken to build back better and develop more resilient, sustainable and inclusive economies for the North."

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