Leeds and Manchester Airports could benefit from new transport plan

Posted on in Events News

1188UK: A new transport plan developed by a an alliance of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield has been presented to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP and HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins on Tuesday 5 August.

The report, One North: A Proposition for an Interconnected North lays out opportunities to maximise economic growth across the north, boosting transport links and helping rebalance the national economy.

If adopted, the £15 billion, 15-year investment plan, which complements the high speed rail HS2 proposals, could deliver benefits for the whole of the North of England including up to 150% additional capacity on roads and as much as 55% faster journey times on a faster, more frequent interconnected rail network.

It would also deliver new trains running on a dedicated 125 mph trans-Pennine rail-link, a faster route to Newcastle and direct, fast and frequent access to Manchester Airport for all the North's city regions to help northern businesses access global markets.

One North has been supported by a number of other key cities and regions including Hull, Bradford, Wakefield and York – who have all helped shape the findings of the report.

Among the report proposals are calls to:

  • A very fast, frequent and high quality intercity rail network joining up city regions – including a new trans-Pennine route (tunnelled as necessary), a faster link to Newcastle and improved access to Manchester Airport.
  • Improved regional rail networks to provide additional capacity and help sustain growth, interconnected with HS2 and intercity services plus local tram networks and more park and ride facilities.
  • New rolling stock (as a priority), electrification of existing lines, higher service frequencies and addressing pinch-points on the rail network.
  • A digital infrastructure enabling real-time information, greater network resilience and faster connections between key areas to personal and business users.
  • Building HS2 early – extending Phase One to Crewe and bringing forwards the delivery of HS2 between Leeds and Sheffield.
  • Rail/light rail connection to Leeds Bradford Airport.


Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: "The current constraints on our transport networks, the product of years of neglect and under-investment, affect the competitiveness of the north. East-West journeys take almost twice as long as equivalent journeys in the south and our rail links are too slow and uncoordinated."

Councillor Keith Wakefield Leader of Leeds City Council said: "HS2, supported by strong regional transport networks, has the potential to bring transformational regeneration and investment to many of our cities and city regions."

Broad Timescales for Delivering the Proposition

By 2019

  • Northern Hub and electrification between Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds-Hull and Middlesbrough and consequent new rolling stock.
  • Midland Main Line electrification.
  • Complete all national pipeline strategic highway schemes.


By 2024

  • Further electrification including to Scarborough, Calder Valley and Hope Valley/south trans Pennine routes, together with new electric fleets, in addition to the well evidenced need for more rolling stock generally across the North.
  • 40 minutes journey time at most between Leeds and Manchester and improvements in services between Manchester and Sheffield.
  • Managed motorways complete across the M62/M56/M60 network and north-south on M1 and M6/M61.
  • Network gaps from the North East to South Yorkshire and northwards towards Scotland closed.
  • Rail/light rail connection to Leeds Bradford Airport.

By 2026

  • With HS2 delivered earlier as far as Crewe, provide additional capacity and capability for onward links to Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington and to both inland freight terminals and ports.
  • Speeded up (140 mph) and more reliable ECML and new route to serve Newcastle.
  • Cross city region suburban services for Leeds, Liverpool (east-west), Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford (north-south link such as a tram-train or similar), Newcastle provided by good quality rolling stock.

By 2030

  • New tunnelled trans Pennine route at 125 mph.
  • To the west, direct connectivity with Manchester Airport, Liverpool and Manchester.
  • To the east connectivity with Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull.
  • Recasting HS2 in Yorkshire - bring forward Leeds-Sheffield section in conjunction with new trans Pennine route
  • In Leeds integrate HS2 into existing Leeds Station.
  • In Sheffield City Region create connectivity with a HS2 station with east-west capability.