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George Osborne is set to name the fast Manchester - Leeds rail link as a priority amid growing impatience from northern business. Sarah Green, of the CBI director is reported as having said: “We need to move from planning to delivery to maintain momentum.”
Whilst the chancellor is set to back a fast rail line project in next week’s Budget as part of his “northern powerhouse” plan to rebalance the economy away from London, other big ticket projects in the North may lose out on funding to projects in the Southeast.
Although Lord Adonis, the former Labour peer, is expected to make the route a priority in a report by his National Infrastructure Commission next week ahead of the March 16 Budget, it is understood that he must ensure enough capital is available for other big projects, including London’s Crossrail 2.
A big ticket project that could be affected as a result is the proposed road tunnel under the Pennines to link Manchester and Sheffield
It has been reported that Lord Adonis; is understood to be wary about the costs of the project estimated at c£6b.
An interim report on the feasibility of a proposed Trans-Pennine Road Tunnel under the Peak District describes the proposal as being the “the most ambitious road scheme in the UK since the construction of the first motorway fifty years ago”.
Will additional funds pledged for Northern Powerhouse materialise?
Chancellor George Osborne has claimed to be making the biggest effort for 50 years to close the north-south divide as he made a series of announcements recently to further his “Northern Powerhouse” plan.
Acknowledgements; FT Tuesday 8th March 2016