George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, UK, is to give green light to High Speed 3 (HS3), the railway line that will connect Leeds and Manchester, in the Budget 2015. The project is part of the strategy to resuscitate the North’s economy.
As part of building a northern powerhouse, the Chancellor established Transport for the North (TfN) to bring together northern transport authorities, and tasked it with working with government to create the first ever comprehensive transport strategy for the region, covering roads, rail, freight, airports and smart ticketing. TfN and the government published the first ‘Northern transport strategy’ report on 20 March 2015, following Network Rail work on rail improvement options.
Building on the concept of High Speed 3, the report sets out a long term strategy to connect the great cities of the north with a network of high quality rail connections. This ‘TransNorth’ network – with sections capable of speeds up to 140 miles per hour – would link Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull.
Proposed new routes and estimated costs are:
• Leeds – Newcastle, £8.5 bn and £14 bn (EUR 11.6bn and EUR 19.2bn)
• Sheffield – Manchester and Manchester – Leeds, £12 bn and £19bn (EUR 16.45bn and EUR 26bn)
• Manchester – Leeds, £6.5bn and £10bn (EUR 8.9bn and EUR 13.6bn)
• Liverpool – Manchester, £8bn and £13bn (EUR 11bn and 17.8bn)
• Leeds – Hull, £5.5bn and £9bn (EUR 7.5bn and EUR 12bn)