Arcadis adds voice to Northern Powerhouse Rail campaign
Arcadis, as a key board member of George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse Partnership, has added its voice to calls for new and improved high speed rail links across the north of England.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, to which Arcadis is a key signatory, members of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership have urged the government to commit to greater investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail in a bid to address issues of poor connectivity that are currently holding back business and economic growth in the region.
As Jonathan Moore, Arcadis City Executive for Manchester, explains:
“If the government is serious about creating a powerhouse of prosperity in the north it needs to back rhetoric up with solid commitment. Northern Powerhouse Rail would turn the heads of businesses, create badly-needed jobs and make the nation’s economy less dependent on one city in the south east.
“In the same way that infrastructure spending in London does not just benefit those in the capital, better transport for the north can only be a good thing for the entire country.”
The full letter, signed by members of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, can be read below:
Dear Prime Minister,
Connecting our great cities of the North with a world-class, higher capacity rail network is not only fundamental to the success of the Northern Powerhouse, it is fundamental to the success of the entire country.
We’re calling on you to back this success, and back Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).
In the Industrial Strategy Green Paper earlier this year the government officially acknowledged the historic underinvestment in northern infrastructure and promised to tackle it.
Implementing Northern Powerhouse Rail would be transformational for businesses in the North, driving productivity and attracting 850,000 new jobs to the region by 2050. It would create a transformational legacy of investment for the North of England the likes of which has not been seen before.
We are calling on the government to show its continued commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail in the Autumn Budget, alongside a step change investment in the wider road and rail corridors which link the key economic assets of the North. This crucial, pan-Northern infrastructure of Northern Powerhouse Rail, our Crossrail for the North, would significantly cut journey times, for example providing a no more than 30-minute commute between Leeds and Manchester and less than 60 minutes between Leeds and Newcastle, and have a dramatic impact on the UK economy.
The government itself has acknowledged and shown the potential improvement in national productivity from this, as well as other policy initiatives. This transformational investment in connectivity, from Liverpool across to Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle, is the long-term solution the North needs.
The current poor connectivity in the North is a major obstacle to encouraging companies from growing in the region and is a barrier to inward investment. According to Transport for the North (TfN), less than 10,000 people in the North can access four or more of the North’s largest economic centres within an hour. This would rise to 1.3 million once is delivered. It would also create fast, frequent connections between the North’s core cities and Manchester Airport.
We urge the government to re-state its commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail as a matter of priority. Without it the vision for a genuine Northern Powerhouse to rebalance our country’s economy and make UK plc prosper for decades to come cannot be delivered.
We are passionate believers that this is not just a Northern issue, it is a UK issue. It should not be seen as Crossrail 2 in London versus Northern Powerhouse Rail; both schemes are vital for Britain’s future.