Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High-Speed Rail Line 'Will Boost Region's Economy'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High-Speed Rail Line 'Will Boost Region's Economy'

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN JOHNSON Reporter ian.johnson01@ncjmedia.co.uk @IANJOHNSONCHRON

AHIGH-SPEED rail line in the North will create thousands of job opportunities in the North East and put millions into the regional economy, transport bosses say.

Transport for the North, which is preparing plans for the Northern Powerhouse Rail network to be sent to the Government in December, say better links between the big cities of the North would allow more than 100,000 businesses to get to the North East in less than 90 minutes, as well as making it easier for people to commute between those cities.

The organisation wants to upgrade the East Coast Main Line serving Newcastle and other North East communities, as well as introducing a much quicker Trans-Pennine route linking Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.

The plan would also provide better links to the North's economic centres, including Newcastle International Airport and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park being built near the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

Transport for the North is now pushing the Government to give the scheme the same priority as the HS2 high speed rail link in the Midlands, saying it could bring 850,000 jobs to the North by 2050 and put more than PS1bn into the region's economy.

Tim Wood, Transport for the North's Director for Northern Powerhouse Rail, said: "Newcastle and the North East has played a monumental role in the UK's success, an industrial heartland where many of our ships and trains started life.

"This summer's Great Exhibition of the North shows just what an international draw the city is.

"But to continue to grow, it needs better, faster and more seamless rail connections to the rest of the North.

"With Northern Powerhouse Rail, we can transform rail travel for the North East at a scale witnessed only once in a lifetime.

"It's an opportunity to deliver a world-class railway for the North, bringing with it massive opportunities for the city's future. …

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