Stephen Church, North Markets Leader and Manchester Office Managing Partner comments on the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) announcement

19th November 2021, 6:29 am

“As businesses continue to invest and grow across the whole North region, improved transport infrastructure and rail connectivity is essential to ensure the maximum economic impact from such developments is unlocked.

“Although positives can be drawn from the IRP, including the two new high-speed lines planned between Crewe to Manchester and Warrington to Manchester – which are vital links into the city – and the electrification of lines across Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, today’s announcement will leave many feeling more must be done.

“Whatever the final plan will look like, it’s important that it benefits and enhances the lives of people who live and work in the North, especially given announced delays to the HS2 eastern leg. To truly level up the region, the integrated rail plan must allow people to travel efficiently between areas, and make informed travel choices which support the country’s net-zero ambitions.

“In turn, today’s announcement has created even more anticipation for the delayed White Paper on Levelling Up. Now is the time to turn good-willed policy aimed at tackling entrenched regional inequalities and closing the skills gap into meaningful action.”

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