Image Source: Mark Fowler
Rebecca Wayman

A London business supports plans for a new Northern England rail route

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has asked the government to seriously explore the construction of the so-called ‘Crossrail for the North’ rail line.

The company believes that it in the interest of the entire country if strategic transport infrastructure is not concentrated mainly in the South East area.

Sean McKee, policy director of London Chamber of Commerce, has said: “London is heading towards megacity status with 10m people by 2030, and while we seek the right infrastructure here, it is important that the rest of the country continues to grow as well.

“At present, cross-country travelling between the great northern cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield is a tortuous, time-consuming experience [which] is not good for business.”

The cities stated have a collective population of 9m, which is similar to London’s current population.

In addition, the distance between Liverpool and Leeds is around the same as the whole length of London Underground’s Central Line, yet such a journey travelling between these two places supposedly takes more time.

LCCI has said that the proposed cross-Pennine plans for ‘Crossrail of the North’ include tunnelling, and skills from the new Elizabeth Line and Crossrail project in London could be put to good use.

Plans have been proposed for Crossrail 2, which is going to be a South East England rail route, however a Crossrail for the North needs to be considered.

McKee continued: “As the UK faces a post-Brexit future, our economy will be much stronger if we create opportunities for jobs and future growth beyond the capital.

“London’s ‘Crossrail 2’ and a ‘Crossrail North’ could be given the green light to proceed together - helping create the environment to compete and seize new economic opportunities.”

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