Chancellor George Osborne visits Manchester Airport station today to launch the start of a major railway upgrade programme worth £600M. The project, known as the Northern Hub, promises £4bn of economic uplift for northern England and 20,000 engineering jobs.
The Northern Hub is a key part of Government’s long term ambitions to help rebalance the economy and encourage growth, and is listed as a priority in its National Infrastructure Plan. Network Rail says the investment will also increase capacity on rail corridors across northern England and cut journey times for passengers.
Existing rail lines will be electrified and major upgrades provided to the network around Manchester as part of the programme. Work will complete in 2019 and allow 700 more trains to run across the region each day.
“Key infrastructure projects like the Northern Hub will create billions for the region,” Mr Osborne will say. “This investment will keep Britain connected and create thousands of jobs, delivering a brighter economic future for the whole country.
“Each part of this project, like the first work at Manchester Airport, will help us build the infrastructure we need to compete in the global race.”
The works at Manchester Airport station will start this month.
The scheme requires a £20m investment to improve the station and the rail link into it. Improving rail access into the airport station will offer better connections for travellers and businesses locating at the nearby Airport City Enterprise Zone.
Electric trains promising faster journey times between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool will start operating in December. Two years later there will be two extra trains an hour between the two cities and six trains an hour to Leeds.
Opening of a short stretch of track known as the Ordsall Chord at the end of 2016 will allow more services to alight at Manchester Victoria station rather than the congested Piccadilly station.