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Transport for the North (TfN), in its submission to the Union Connectivity Review chaired by Sir Peter Hendy, has stated that a holistic, sustainable and collaborative approach to transport investment is the key to enhancing the UK’s connectivity and unlocking opportunities for people and businesses.
Claiming that a joined-up plan for cross-border investment is critical, TfN suggests that improved connectivity between the nations and regions of the UK will encourage trade and inward investment by improving links to the nationally significant ports and airports, and faster links between the economic assets that they serve. This would not only benefit freight on national and international routes but would also improve connectivity for passengers and businesses on regional and local journeys too.
“For too long transport has been under-funded and plans have been made in a fragmented way,” said Tim Foster, Interim Strategy Director at Transport for the North. “It is high time that changed.
“Through the Union Connectivity Review, we need Government to set out a holistic approach to transport investment that ensures a sustained pipeline of projects, chosen based on a joined-up approach that involves local and regional partners, to truly support the levelling up agenda and enhance connectivity across the United Kingdom.”
In its response, TfN calls for the government to recognise in the Union Connectivity Review:
Tim Foster added: “The UK’s transport network is fragmented and congested. Having a clear investment plan for roads and rail that looks at the four nations as a whole should help strengthen our collective economies. This Review is an opportunity to deliver.
“For instance, investing in better rail links in the North will improve journeys and links for Scottish communities to those in Wales, the Midlands and the South of England. Likewise, those key roads that both link communities and are vital for freight movement from ports are critical to future prosperity and trade.
“Critically, we need the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan to interlink with the wider ambition to improve connectivity in the UK. Delivery of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail infrastructure at the earliest opportunity will release more capacity and better deliver long-distance journeys right across the North and to our neighbours. The resulting economic benefits will be absolutely critical as we recover from Covid-19.”
This article first appeared on www.railengineer.co.uk
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