Yorkshire to benefit from major rail investment

Yorkshire’s rail links will undergo major transformation that could cut journey times between Leeds and Manchester by an average of 15 minutes.

George Osborne the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the £9bn rail investment along with transport Secretary Justine Greening at a time when figures have shown that the economy is shrinking.

Figures show that the UK economy shrunk by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter, and that we are in the grip of a double-dip recession the last one we had was in 1975.

Despite criticisms, the coalition government hopes that the investment will deliver faster journeys and better transport links to the area. George Osborne said that the Northern Hub would provide a “significant boost for the major towns and cities of the North.” He went on to say that this in turn will help, “rebalance the UK economy.”

Justine Greening said the investment showed the government was, “focused on delivering an affordable, reliable and faster railway network that drives jobs and growth.”

There are already almost £500m Northern Hub schemes approved across the North of England, including a plan to reduce the journey time between Leeds and Liverpool by an average of 35 minutes.

The North Trans Pennine route between Manchester and York will also be electrified, and will be extended to include the section of line between Micklefield Junction and Selby.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This investment will help people choose trains over cars, reduce carbon emissions and provide a rail system that is faster, more reliable and greener.”

The rail industry will now carry out further work to determine the exact start end dates of the schemes, and these will be announced in due course.

By Waithera Junghae.