Train journey times from Sheffield to Manchester could be slashed by a new rail network according to a report out today.
Options for a new ‘Trans-North’ rail system as well as road investments have been set out in the first Northern Transport Strategy report, which has been released today.
It has been compiled by the Transport for the North body, a collaboration of northern authorities which have worked with the Government.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Sheffield Hallam MP, called the strategy ‘transformative’.
He said: “Modernising rail in the north and speeding up connections between cities will encourage business, boost tourism and give commuters the transport network they deserve.”
The report sets out ‘a long-term strategy to connect up the north, create a single economy and allow northern towns and cities to pool their strengths’.
Options for rail travel include line upgrades and a new route between Sheffield to Manchester.
It is claimed the line – costing between £12 billion and £19bn – could cut journey times to 27 minutes, compared with the current fastest time of 48 minutes.
The report says upgrading tracks between Sheffield and Hull could potentially cut journey times by nearly half-an-hour, from 86 minutes to 60 minutes.
Other measures outlined in the document include delivering the new HS2 high -speed rail link sooner, including looking at accelerating construction of the route between Leeds and Sheffield.
Highways suggestions include ‘improving the A1 to provide continuous motorway standard between London and Newcastle and widening the M1 to four-lane running in Yorkshire’.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The proposals will reduce journey times while increasing capacity and connectivity, enabling growth.”