Northern UK airports back 30-year strategic transport plan

The thirty-year plan is the first of its kind and outlines how transport connections across the North of England need to be transformed by 2050 to drive growth and close the economic gap between the North and the rest of England.


POWERHOUSE: A plane landing at Manchester Airport, the UK's third biggest airport

Northern airports have come together to endorse Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan. Aimed at rebalancing the UK’s economy through a sustained 30-year programme of transport infrastructure investment, the plan could deliver a £100 billion economic boost and 850,000 additional jobs by 2050.

Barry White, Transport for the North’s new Chief Executive, said, “An incredible amount of work has gone into the production of the draft Strategic Transport Plan including collaboration between the public and private sector across the whole of the North.

“The plan is underpinned with a robust evidence base making a compelling case for the investment priorities that would transform the economy of the North and the UK as a whole. I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to share this work with the public and invite their questions and comments. This is crucial to ensuring the plan is fit for purpose and meets the needs and aspirations of those who will benefit from improved infrastructure and economic prosperity, the citizens of the North.

“This is first time transport has been looked at on a pan-northern level offering a unique opportunity for everyone in the North to have their say on what matters to them.”

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “We welcome Transport for the North’s draft strategic plan and its recognition about the importance for people and businesses across the North to have easy access to global markets.

“Large-scale investment in transport infrastructure, through projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and High Speed 2, is key to unlocking the North’s full potential. Integrating both of these schemes with the international connections at Manchester Airport, will ensure that the benefits from these investments through greater access to global markets are spread across the whole of the North. Better international connectivity into and out of the region will plug investors directly into the Northern Powerhouse and offer great access to the World’s powerhouses for the near 28million people who fly into and out of Manchester Airport each year.”

Robert Hough, Chairman of Peel Airports – Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Durham Tees Valley Airport, said: “Unlocking the significant existing capacity for both passenger and cargo services in the North will provide a clear economic benefit for the regions and the UK.  Improvements in surface access to Northern airports will be vital to realising this, supporting enhanced connectivity, and ensuring growth is spread across the North.”

“Airports act as regional growth clusters, using their land around their core facilities to attract other activities.  Surface access improvements will also stimulate new highly skilled jobs, new housing, tourism and better connect people and businesses. A sustained programme of transport infrastructure investment as set out in the draft Strategic Transport Plan can be the catalyst to achieve a wide number of economic and social benefits for the North.”

Nick Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We support Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan which highlights the key role Northern airports, such as Newcastle International, play in connecting the North of England to wider global markets.

“We are pleased that the Plan has recognised the transport challenges faced in the region and support the recommendations made regarding road and rail improvements, the new Metro rolling stock and other measures to enable the future expansion of the airport. Transport for the North’s International Connectivity Commission has recognised Newcastle as an international gateway airport in the North East and we will continue to work closely with TfN and other partners.”


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