die belebende Bedenkung

Have faith in pie in the sky

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Journeys by category in the Manchester - Leeds corridor, 2007

There is no guarantee that investing billions in infrastructure will help the North of England, Transport for the North (TfN) ‘chair’ John Cridland, told the BBC.

[Northern Powerhouse ‘a leap of faith’, Roger Harrabin, BBC,
22 February 2016]

But former CBI chief told the BBC that people should take a “leap of faith” on new roads and railways.

He said he believed reducing journey times between northern cities would improve the economy.

But critics say the money might be better spent on training and skills – or on transport within cities.

Mr Cridland’s quango is due to publish its first report soon.

The chancellor’s advisory National Infrastructure Commission also will make recommendations on Northern transport.

The bodies have been considering transport options such as a motorway running under the Peak District from Sheffield to Manchester, or an HS3 rail link between Leeds and Manchester.

But Anne Robinson, from Friends of the Peak District, told BBC News: “These are just pie-in-the-sky schemes. We haven’t been given the slightest shred of evidence that they will do any good.”

She warned that the motorway scheme – running more than 30 miles underground – would cost a fortune, as well as creating congestion in roads at either end of the tunnel and potentially disrupting the ecology of the Peaks National Park.

Mr Cridland said ambitious infrastructure should be on the agenda: “I’m not claiming there is perfect science here”.

Obviously, with schemes like HS3 TransNorth Northern powerhouse rail in favour, the potential for nugatory expenditure, and environmental degradation, is enormous. TfN urgently needs to get independent advice.


Written by beleben

February 22, 2016 at 11:04 am

One Response

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  1. These five Time Out maps are relevant to beleben’s post:

    They show how London is stuffed with people and economic activity and, at the same time, they illustrate the massive imbalance between North and South in mainland Britain. So, how can Mr Osborne’s powerhouse economy emerge from the North’s scatter of small cities without new infrastructure to bring them together in an economic ‘agglomeration’ more like (if smaller than) London’s?

    A productive first step towards this would be a step change in the Victorian travel times between the east Lancs and west Yorks rail systems. The NorthStart website’s route for this would be a 40-mile new fast link between Manchester Victoria and Leeds (both through-stations) following the M62 corridor eastwards from Rochdale through the Pennine Divide, with an 8-mile spur north into Bradford. It would bring the Yorks and Lancs halves of the cross-Pennine economy half an hour time-nearer each other and open a Northern Cities Crossrail connecting Hull in the east to Liverpool in the west.
    See: https://hsnorthstart.wordpress…

    Michael Wand

    February 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

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