Businesses back northern hub project
Date published: 14 July 2011
Over 40 business leaders from across the region attended the Northern Hub Business Breakfast at the Palace Hotel in Manchester this week, organised by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Network Rail.
Attendees listened to a presentation by Network Rail’s Duncan Law on the importance of the Northern Hub proposals and the way forward.
The Northern Hub project aims to increase capacity on the rail network, allowing for faster and more frequent services between the cities of the North.
It will provide 700 extra trains a day for 3.5million more people to travel by rail every year and allow for the doubling of capacity into the Trafford Park freight terminals.
It could also assist in the creation of up to 23,000 jobs.
Duncan Law also discussed the Ordsall Chord scheme, which is the railway line linking Victoria and Piccadilly stations.
The Chancellor has released £85million to construct the Chord with further funding to improve Victoria station and upgrade the Victoria-Stalybridge line.
If all goes to plan, the Chord will become operational towards the end of 2016.
The decision on whether the full hub project will go ahead will not formally be announced until September 2012.
Commenting on the project, Richard Critchley, Transport Policy Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is essential that the Northern Hub project is given full backing by the Government and that the whole scheme is completed in order for it to fulfil its potential and deliver the £4billion of economic benefits it promises.
"The project is supported by businesses on the whole, but they have concerns about extra rail carriages, which the Government must also deliver on to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme.”
The formal submission of the proposals will be made to the Government in September 2011.
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