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One North: Region’s Cities Come Together At Last

A head of steam is building for West to East hook-up

Published on August 6th 2014.


One North: Region’s Cities Come Together At Last
 

A NEW transport plan has been developed by a coalition of key Northern cities. 

Whether the impulse for all this love is driven by politics or by a genuine understanding for better rail links, well, who cares?

Confidential is watching with increasing pleasure the rising tide of opinion on how the Northern Cities might be better connected.

At last, it seems, all political parties are waking up to the need for the great northern English cities to realise their potential. Infrastructure is vital in this. And whether the impulse for all this love is driven by politics or by a genuine understanding for better rail links, well, who cares? If we get the money for the work, that's what matters.

In September 1830 the first inter-city rail link in the world opened between Liverpool and Manchester. It's good to see we have a fresh head of steam building. 

The Northern Cities' report, One North: A Proposition for an interconnected North has been formulated in response to the challenge set out by Sir David Higgins, chair of HS2, in his original report and the Chancellor in his Northern Powerhouse speech on 23 June and is being launched by an alliance of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield. 

The ambitious programme laid out would 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 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 better access to ports and airports – improving freight and logistics movements across the country and benefiting personal and business travellers.

One North

One North

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

The report proposes:

• Increased road capacity for both freight and personal travel through extended managed motorways, addressing gaps in the network and improving links to ports.

• 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.

• Improved access to enable efficient freight movements by rail, road and water including ports, rail links and distribution centres.

• Building HS2 early – extending Phase One to Crewe and bringing forwards the delivery of HS2 between Leeds and Sheffield.

• Improving East/West rail freight capability across the Pennines, linking major ports to north/south rail routes.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “Sir David Higgins set us a challenge to make the case and we are responding in a single clear voice with this landmark report.

“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 unco-ordinated. Our motorways are congested, and there is an over-reliance on the M62.

“Addressing these limitations will require ambitious action, co-operation and a co-ordinated approach to strategic planning and investment – bringing together rail, road, water and freight and enabling the great cities of the north to be more than the sum of their parts. We need a new holistic approach to strategic investment and planning. The reward would be a substantially increased contribution to the national economy.”

Councillor Keith Wakefield Leader of Leeds City Council said:  “The North has long been calling for better connectivity between cities outside London. Getting the right investment in our transport systems would deliver unprecedented change to better connect people and jobs, which is crucial if we also want to rebalance the national economy. 

“This report demonstrates once again that only through tackling our out-dated transport system will the North be able to fulfil its true economic potential, benefiting our own local communities and the country as a whole. 

“HS2, supported by strong regional transport networks, has the potential to bring transformational regeneration and investment to many of our cities and city regions. Building from the North would increase the pace of that change while at the same time delivering much needed jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.”

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: "In the 19th Century almost half of the world's trade moved through the Port of Liverpool, but getting freight to and from the Liverpool City Region is just as important today - the planned SuperPORT is going to increase volume by 70% in 2030.  So we need better, faster connectivity - both East-West and through HS2.  Improved trans-pennine connections will lead to a huge, exciting boost in commercial confidence and growth across the North as millions of people find it easier to do business with each other." 

Newcastle City Council Chief Executive, Pat Ritchie, said: "One North is a demonstration that the great northern cities can work together to shape transport plans which would transform the economic competitiveness of the north - linking people to jobs, goods to customers and  our businesses to international markets. Ensuring that Newcastle and the north east are part of an integrated approach to transport is essential to delivering our vision for economic growth in the region." 

Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield further commented:  “Transforming the connections between our great Northern cities is vital if we are to make the most of our unlocked economic potential.  An ambitious, integrated and planned approach towards infrastructure investment in the north will enable us to achieve our ambitions for our economy. For years our transport network has been far too slow and inferior compared to London and the south east.  This report outlines the steps we need to put this right but we need the tools to make this happen. Getting city to city connections right will act as a catalyst for our cities and city regions which we need to drive job creation and rebalance growth in the UK.’

Key economic benefits...

Key economic benefits include the north becoming a destination of choice for investors, connecting businesses with workers and workers with jobs, higher levels of productivity and competition, a modern, new infrastructure to support trade and industry, complimenting the economic benefits of HS2 for the north and ultimately producing a more productive northern economy – all of which means higher wages, profit and tax receipts for the Exchequer. 

For example, the Northern Way study in 2009 identified that cutting journey times between Manchester and Leeds by just 20 per cent would be worth up to £6.7 billion to the north.

The report details transport investment across the north as a whole up to 2030 and it is estimated cost of between £10 and £15 billion, but the benefits far outweigh the costs and should be set in context with other transport funding requests – for example recent requests for transport funding in and around London total around £80 billion up to 2050.

Following the launch of the report, the partner cities will continue to work closely together and with key partners including Network Rail, the Highways Agency, HS2 and the Government itself to develop the report into a phased and integrated investment programme. This will be determined by economic value and the potential to deliver a northern powerhouse.

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72 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Nick NameAugust 5th 2014.

Cue thousands of complaints on the Telegraph and Guardian websites. You can't spend billions on infrastructure and transport on the North. It should all be spent in London. It's about time we got our fare share of investment. Bring it on!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

What? So Guardian readers whinge about investment in the North too, do they? The champagne socialist hypocrites.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

I've just read some of the comments on the Guardian and apart from a lot of southerners not wanting investment taking place outside of the M25, there's plenty of northerners saying regardless of the investment the Tory government make , they'll always vote Labour. So depressing. How can you say you'll always vote for one party? Baffles me.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

You could pay for either Chorlton to be literally paved with gold, or for the Reverend Paul Flowers to be supplied with his own harem of private rent boys for what Crossrail has cost.

rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

Exactly - an absurd amount of money to get people from East to West London a bit quicker. Verging on the disgusting

DavidAugust 5th 2014.

George Osbourne today seems to be extremely keen to back these proposals.For some reason he seems very keen on supporting this city.It seems only Ed Balls stands between it happening. Shovelling money into London transport schemes seems to be Ed Balls approach.He seems to have no love what's so ever for the North,despite it having mostly Labour seats.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Perhaps he's just a good constituency MP and wants the best for the people in the Metropolis which his leafy constituency borders on.

DavidAugust 5th 2014.

That's true but why don't Labour governments do the same.Tony Blair,Jack Straw etc all represented northern seats.But Labour in power was the party of the City of London and I doubt very many of them voted Labour as result.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Osborne has been an MP in the region since 2001. Why is it only in the last couple of months that he's making noises about investing in northern infrastructure? Anyone would think there is a general election looming. Typical cynical Tory electioneering.

DavidAugust 5th 2014.

Osbourne delivered on financing the Northern Hub which is more than Prescott and Darling did on Metrolink. Most of the time he has been a local MP there was a Labour governments.One that constantly broke its promises to the North as with Daresbury,and cancelling the Super Casino project in Manchester.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

orthern Hub was announced under the last Labour government. And just because you are not in government doesn't mean you are completely impotent. If Osborne is so pro-north why has he been completely silent on the issue of northern investment up until the last 2 months. It is for good reason he is considered the most politically astute member of the cabinet - this guy is a consummate politician which is why you would be utterly stupid, David, to take his recent PR offensive on face value.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Prescott tried to scupper Manchester Airport's 2nd runway and the completion of the M60 back in the mid 1990s remember. A comedy northerner who was an utter disaster for the North - unlike gorgeous George who is trying his best to help us. Investment in infrastructure instead of welfare, sure sounds good to me!

Calum McGAugust 7th 2014.

Anon 2: it isn't recent. He has supported HS2 for several years.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Osborne has been an MP in the region since 2001. Why is it only in the last couple of months that he's making noises about investing in northern infrastructure? Anyone would think there is a general election looming. Typical cynical Tory electioneering.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidAugust 5th 2014.

I would rather have a cynical Tory investing in the North than a cynical Labour one who never invests in the North.I want the investment here,I don't care about their motives.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

There is no promise of any Tory investment. Just a photo opportunity and some column inches.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

HS3 has already quietly been dropped. And why? Because the idea for 200mph+ high speed rail was never practicable, realistic or even necessary for the transpennine route. But the "announcement" succeeded in so far as it generated plenty of headlines just prior to Labour's own more holistic and far reaching plans for devolved funding and infrastructure investment announced the week after.

DavidAugust 5th 2014.

Labour holistic approach I don't think so ,not with Ed Balls as shadow chancellor.A man so toxic to the interests of the North and northern councils that they don't want to be seen with him

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

I agree, Balls' cynical manoeuvring over funding for HS2, ostensibly to appease southern lobbyists and journalists was a disgrace.

Mark FullerAugust 5th 2014.

What have Tories ever done for us? The Monty Python levels of delusion and bile from some Labour sheep { no doubt they'll tell us they don't vote Labour} is truly astonishing. They seem to imagine that the many improvements to the areas infrastructure have nothing to do with Osborne or the Tory led coalition. Presumably they didn't hear council leader Sir Richard Leese, praising this government for beginning the process of devolving more power to the Manchester Region and accelerating the vitally important expansion of our transport infrastructure. Brown , Burnham and Mr and Mrs Balls{ and how could I forget Wallace}had 13 years to implement their visionary plans for a northern renaissance and failed abysmally to do so.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Are you seriously falling for Osborne's PR bullshit? Are you that naive, seriously? Wake up. We are less than a year from a general election and all of a sudden Osborne is falling over himself to promise gargantuan infrastructure spending having had 13 years as an MP to lobby or implement greater spending here. You will no doubt deny being a Tory supporter but you have clearly fallen hook line and sinker for his transparent electioneering.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

The evidence for Osborne's attitude seen in his party's pathetic response to Michael Heseltine's report calling the devolution of over £50bn of funding to local areas: a few platitudes and a token gesture that is their "growth fund", itself a fraction of the budget that the previous Regional Development Agencies enjoyed. Judge the man on his deeds rather than words and you see him for the type of politician he is. Utterly ruthless and cynical and manifestly disinterested in the needs of Manchester and the north. Too bad some of the mindless Tory boys on here can't think critically about the current administration.

rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

Labour couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery as a government. Look at the absolute mess they left last time for starters... People have such short memories...

21 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Rinkydink - another one who is seemingly unable to think for themselves. The Tories and Osborne in particular have proven themselves to be utterly incompetent in their handling of the economy, prolonging the recession long after almost all leading economies had recovered ind.pn/UNTw8L…

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

The "mess" was a global financial crisis caused by BANKERS rather than a governments investing in education and healthcare at levels well within historic norms.

DavidAugust 5th 2014.

Under Osbourne the Uk has the highest growth rate in the developed world.In contrast Socialist France,the ideological bed fellow of Labour has no growth and nearly one more million more unemployed than the Uk.So under no circumstances can he be called a failure.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

A growth rate driven by more consumer spending and debt - will we ever learn? Even "socialist" France recovered quicker than the UK thanks to Osborne's incompetent, ideologically driven handling of our economy.

Alex24August 5th 2014.

France had fallen a lot lower than the UK so an initial recovery was to be expected there. Whether you like Osborne or not, to suggest he has badly mishandled the economy is partisan nonsense. I just hope he genuinely means what he says regarding sustained, long-term Northern investment. I don't trust him, but sure as hell prefer him to the prospect of Ed Balls running things.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

But France recovered all its lost output as well as GDP per capita quicker than us. Osborne incompetence laid bare: ind.pn/UNTw8L…

rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

Do you realise how much public spending went up under the last government? Do you remember how much tax they piled on when they were in office? Do you remember how they ruined everyone's pensions by changing the tax rules? Yes there was a global "meltdown" as you call it but Labour were pretty reckless. And the meltdown was actually caused by American citizens defaulting on their mortgages. Yes... people like you and me taking on too much debt out of our own greed. Always easier to blame the "bankers" though isn't it

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Do you remember the state of schools and hospitals in 1997? Absolutely driven into the ground. Kids being taught in crumbling classrooms. A total embarrassment. Labour's spending was within historical norms and no greater than the deficits run up in the previous conservative administration. The shame was they chose to use a corporate welfare scheme otherwise known as PFI to finance it. The global meltdown was caused by lax regulation of the financial sector that allowed greedy bankers, unencumbered by any significant risk to their own income, to provide unsustainable credit to people that couldn't afford to pay it back. Never forget that David Cameron himself lobbied to prevent stricter regulation on the banks whilst in opposition. The Tories have always stood for large landowners and powerful vested interests in the City. 5 years of economic incompetence. Do we really want a repeat of that?

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

If you look at the graph on the link you can clearly see how public spending soared under Labour after 1997. The tories may well have not been spending enough previously but the trend you can see under Labour is outrageous. There are also many players in the economic "meltdown" - far too many to go into here but ultimately, if the public had refused the easy credit, no credit crunch would have occurred www.theguardian.com/…/uk-public-spending-1963…

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Deficits were well within historical norms under both Labour and Tory administrations. Debt soared after 2007 to bail put the banks. Did you forget about that?

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

Please see page 1 paragraph 2 of the link. Between 1997-2007, the UK had the second largest increase of public spending out of all recorded countries - before the "meltdown" www.ifs.org.uk/…/bn92.pdf… It was a cynical ploy by Labour ro inflate the Civil Service and win votes - knowing the Tories would have to cut back, and lose votes in the process. Pretty twisted really...

GimboidAugust 6th 2014.

"Between 1997-2007, the UK had the second largest increase of public spending out of all recorded countries" So? That doesn't in itself mean anything. Even if every country only marginally increased public spending, one country would have the largest increase, one would have the second largest increase, and so on. In itself that doesn't mean the increase in spending was excessive or unusual.

DavidAugust 6th 2014.

Increasing public spending is meaningless if you waste it.Labour increased doctors salaries to the second highest in the world,yet allowed GP not to work out of hours.They increased dentists salaries and yet dental care became expensive and difficult to find.They wasted vast sums on ID cards and NHS technology that did not work and had to be scrapped. As all this spending was totally unsustainable as well,and involved lots of PFI projects that could be kept of the public books.

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

Gimboid, the increase was substantial and then when you throw in the huge tax rises during the same period (see link) you can see they were spending like there was no tomorrow. The Conservatives have had to reverse this in order to keep the confidence of the money markets - so that they don't raise interest rates. Cos if they do, this gets passed onto things like mortgages and then with the economy being so depressed, everyone loses their houses www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Budget-2010-Tax-has-doubled-under-Labour.html…

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Are you blind to the waste and ineptitude displayed by the current government? An expensive reorganisation and outsourcing of the work programme yielding results no better than the previous scheme? An ideologically driven privatisation of the East Coast line that had succeeded where private franchises failed, delivering better value for money than any existing private franchise? A reorganised and centralised inward investment support system that has seen regions' share of inward investment plummet compared with London, an expensive and centralised Academy / Free Schools programme that has sucked money and schools places from areas of highest demand, a youth employment support scheme that has totally failed heaping social costs on communities and economic costs onto the welfare system, outsourced probation service that looks like it's running into serious trouble, a social care system cut to the bone and creaking at the seams unable to cope with the demands put upon it for some of the most vulnerable in society, cuts to the prison service resulting in large increases in suicides, expensive and failed reforms to Disability benefits that have saved no money, gerrymandered employment figures (public sector reclassified as private sector; unemployed reclassified as self employed)... It's failure upon failure, incompetence upon incompetence and their stated target for all this pain to eliminate the deficit missed by a mile because their economic policies have failed so badly.

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

I got bored after the second sentence. Do you know what? I'm not even a Tory voter. I don't vote because I think they're all corrupt. But the economy was in a good state when Labour got in, atrocious when they left and now the conservatives are picking up the pieces like they always seem to do. I can see that their policies are also sometimes too extreme and they cut too harshly, favour the south, rich etc etc. But all the evidence I have read leads me to believe they are best with the economy. That's just my opinion

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

Also, what does gerrymandered mean?

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

The economy was growing again when the Tories got in. Osborne's inept handling of the economy meant a recession or virtually nil growth for far longer than was necessary and longer than most leading economies.

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

He's had to cut back more than most because our deficit is one of the highest in the world and was spiralling out of control. All is bouncing back nicely now though - thanks to his policies

Calum McGAugust 7th 2014.

Anon 1 - hilarious.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Like Rinkydink I no longer vote because the wishes of the electorate are never reflected in the make up of central government and certainly not at the local level. I'm very interested in politics and the democratic process and regard my not voting as a protest vote. Ironically, one of the good things about the coalition government is that, for the first time I can remember, the majority people who voted last time had, to some extent, had representation in Parliament.

DavidAugust 5th 2014.

Inequality grew under the last Labour government more than at any time since the Second World.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

But you're a Tory - you don't believe in inequality, never mind care about it.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Nice sniping, but it doesn't address the actual point he made, does it?

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Inequality ballooned in most western economies from the late 1970s particularly those following the sort of neoliberal economic policies espoused by Thatcher. Practically the same economic policies were pursued by the New Labour government. Countries with small inequalities tend to be those Northern European and Scandinavian countries where taxes tend to be higher, quality of life is much higher, social problems are lower and the economy is robust and works for the good of society rather than a few at the top. Such a model is closer to the sort of progressive ideas being put forward by Milliband & co which unfortunately get demonised by knuckle headed Neanderthal right wing press and swallowed by gullible fools like you, David.

rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

Anyway Labour don't stand a chance of getting in next time so we can all breathe a sigh of relief...

GimboidAugust 6th 2014.

"Inequality grew under the last Labour government more than at any time since the Second World." Until the current government.

DavidAugust 6th 2014.

Actually not true if you look at the figures

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Inequality has reduced in the last few years mainly because the incomes of the richest have fallen back proportionally more during the recession and certain policies such as the raising of the income tax threshold at the bottom, a policy fought for by the Lib Dems in the teeth of opposition from their Tory counterparts. However factoring in the decimation of public services which the less well off tend to rely on more, real inequalities have remained at the same high levels or worstened slightly. It has certainly not been Tory policy to try to tackle social, economic or geographical inequalities, despite the rhetoric

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Welcome to Manchester where Labour can do no wrong, and will always be in charge no matter what they do. Utterly depressing.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkAugust 6th 2014.

Innit!

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Unless we had a PR voting system for local elections that is. Now that's what Mr Osbourne & central government should be IMPOSING on Manchester.

SmittyAugust 6th 2014.

More than 65% of the electorate voted Labour in the last elections anon which is a substantial share of the popular vote, PR or not. You may not like this being a Labour city, but it's the choice that the electorate makes when they cast their vote, and it's served us pretty well, which is why we continue to do so. Voters are citizens exercising their democratic rights. That doesn't make us stupid.

Alex24August 6th 2014.

IMO, the reason the current Labour administration in Manchester has done well is that it doesn't share the same dogmatic attitude to the Tories of a depressingly large amount of the electorate. Their ability to work effectively with both main parties has served Manchester well. If some of the juvenile anti-Tory sentiments were shared by those at the top, we would probably have struggled as much as Liverpool has. Saying that, I don't agree with Smitty that PR wouldn't have a significant positive effect on local politics. London is a thriving world city and I don't think it's a coincidence that it has political parties competing for votes.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Doing pretty well?! Manchester has the lowest life expectancy in all of England and Wales? Manchester has double the national average for suicide in young males? 27 of the 33 wards in Manchester are among the 10% most deprived in the country? Manchester's rates of obesity, smoking, cancer and heart disease are significantly higher than the national average. Not what I'd call doing well, but Labour lovers always find an excuse to overlook the facts. Illegal wars don't matter. Piling young people up on benefits to keep them off the unemployed lists doesn't matter. Trying to scrap the completion of the M60 doesn't matter. Trying to stop the second runway doesn't matter. Trying to stop HS2 doesn't matter. You'll always vote Labour regardless.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Comparable health statistics are found in almost all deprived, urban wards. Problems like these are strongly linked to poverty , de industrialisation and wider societal inequalities. Of course what doesn't help is an idiotic Tory narrative that says poverty is nothing to do with i, de industrialisation was inevitable and nothing to do with Thatcher's policies and it is all the fault of people living there; then redistributing funding away from deprived areas to leafy affluent (mostly southern) constituencies, further exacerbating the problem.

SmittyAugust 6th 2014.

London local authority elections are done on the same basis as in Manchester, Alex. My point was that I just don't really think that the electoral system matters - a view which seems to be shared by the electorate generally given the referendum result. They've had PR in local elections in Northern Ireland for donkey's years and that's not really edified the political system over there. Similarly, PR in the national elections in the Republic of Ireland means that, quite often, independent TDs (Irish MPs) get a disproportionate influence in order to give their backing to a bigger party, which is just as undemocratic as first past the post. I think that there's no perfect electoral system. On balance, I think first past the post works well for national elections as it means that the MP represents their area (or, at least, they should) and are therefore connected with their constituents on a more local basis than most PR systems. For local elections, the system we have in English metropolitan areas means it could change to PR reasonably straightforwardly as there already are three councillors per ward. However, I just don't think it makes much of a difference and doesn't actually engage people (as I would imagine that a lot of people have disengaged from this rant a few sentences back).

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Smitty, Labour got 58% of the popular vote in the Manchester 2014 local election. I'm sure that % figure would be much lower if "stay at home" Tory voters (and supporters of other smaller parties) thought their vote might actually count? But anyway, PR would deliver a healthy proportion of opposition councillors - today we have none. There's a democratic deficit here in this city - first past the post has failed the voters of Manchester!

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

@smiitty 21% of the electorate voted Labour in the last local election but got 100% of the power. This is hardly democratic. Please explain how you can support a system that throws up a situation where 79% of the electorate are ignored.

Agnes GuanoAugust 6th 2014.

Bring back the Woodhead Tunnels!!!

DavidAugust 6th 2014.

It seems Osbourne attended and supported the Northern Cities launch.But I can see no mention of Ed Balls attending or welcoming this,despite the fact they mostly Labour councils.Ed Balls is like the COOP,something that that northern Labour leaders don't want to talk about,and pretend does not exist.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

ALL a bit LATE but welcome all the same....

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

Seems by the evening news bulletins that day, the national media had got bored with this story and dropped it. Obviously not "that interested" (at the end of the day) in Mancheser, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffied & Newcastle politics are they really? Yet their beloved "Boris" farts (or something yesterday) and it's top headline story everywhere. Just everywhere!

Poster BoyAugust 7th 2014.

Panacea. If only it was that easy.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

I wonder what would happen to the country if Pat Karney was Prime Minister

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

It's be Christmas.....Pat loves Christmas

Calum McGAugust 7th 2014.

@jonathan When will all this tedious Anon ranting get the boot? Ever?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

I used to post under a name but acquired a stalker who, regardless of what I said, would take the opposite view. Since I have been posting as anonymous the unpleasantness has stopped and I can make a point without worry of unreasonable censure. Maybe you should make a call against all this tedious stalking.

AnonymousAugust 9th 2014.

Yet none of this tackles the slice of Greater Manchester that reaches from Salford to Wigan and Bolton. This massively overcrowded route has had successive years of reducing rolling stock and is now so heavily overcrowded that it is impossible to use. It is long past time that they invested in the routes through those areas and doubled (or even trebled) the rolling stock.

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