Transport for the North (TfN) has set out its final plans for a £70bn 30-year transport investment strategy.
The strategic transport plan outlines a range of strategies and schemes to boost connectivity in road, rail and local transport, as well as developing smart ticketing and appraisal and governance strictures.
Britain's first and only statutory sub-national transport body, which is responsible for coordinating plans for the North, has called for £2bn-£2.3bn to be spent on strategic road and rail infrastructure every year until 2050.
'Assuming the levels of committed strategic transport funding, primarily through Highways England’s Road Investment Strategy and Network Rail’s Control Period, in this Parliamentary cycle are continued from 2020 through to 2050, this could equate to around £39-43bn investment in the North,' the report states.
'This means that additional expenditure of £21bn-27bn would be required over the period for TfN to achieve improvements set out in the Investment Programme. TfN and its Partners consider this to be an ambitious but realistic scale of programme.'
Barry White, chief executive of TfN, said: 'Our Investment Programme outlines how an additional investment of just £50 per person in the North, per year, could play a part in unlocking a £100bn increase in economic activity and create 850,000 new jobs.
'This final Plan will be a statutory document written by the North, for the North, and will be our blueprint to deliver transformational change and leave a legacy for future generations.'
The Plan is due to be considered by the TfN Board on Thursday 7 February 2019.
The roads that will comprise Government's Major Road Network (MRN) have yet to be announced. These would be strategic local roads that would receive funding under the ringfenced VED roads Fund from 2020.
TfN has identified its own MRN for the North – representing about 7% of the roads in the North.
Major road network:
Journey reliability – where 90% of journeys of 15 miles or more on the MRN should be delayed by no more than 15 minutes for a journey of 60 minutes expected travel time.
Network efficiency – aiming to optimise the efficient flow of passengers and goods on the MRN and through the improved flow of traffic, and support for new technologies to reduce emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Network resilience – aiming to reduce the number of incidences of closure of MRN routes leading to severe journey delay.
Journey quality – improving the customer experience of using the MRN, including the quality and availability of travel information.
Plans for a Trans-Pennine road tunnel underneath the Peak District were previously found to be prohibitively expensive. However TfN has been working on alternatives.
The strategy states: 'To date, this work has found that the most promising alternative option is a partially tunnelled route on the line of the existing A628, with a supporting package of wider road connectivity enhancements, including on the M60, M67, M1 and M18/A1, which would have road user and economic benefits for the Sheffield City Region, Greater Manchester, and the wider Northern economy.
'This alternative option would also have the benefit of possibly being sequenced in its delivery, building on the committed works within Highways England’s Trans-Pennine Upgrade Programme.'