Osborne to set up new infrastructure commission – transport in Manchester

Osborne to set up new infrastructure commission – transport in Manchester

Category : News

The Chancellor will unveil a new independent national board to review spending.

George Osborne will promise to break Britain’s transport spending ‘inertia’ in his conference speech – with plans for HS3 top of the list.

The Chancellor will unveil a new independent national board to review spending priorities for transport, house building and power stations in each region, to be headed up by Labour peer Lord Adonis.

His policy is a brazen lift of a Labour manifesto pledge at the last election – which was drawn up by Lord Adnois – and will see him resign his party whip.

Treasury sources – who referred to the move as a ‘sweeping’ change in the way spending is planned – said the first issue it will look at will be joining up major cities with modern transport links, often referred to as ‘HS3’.

It will also report back regularly on the progress of government infrastructure projects and spending, much as the Office for Budget Responsibility does for the economy.

Mr Osborne is expected to say to conference in Manchester: “Where would Britain be if we had never built railways or runways, power stations or new homes?

“I’m not prepared to turn round to my children – or indeed anyone else’s child – and said I’m sorry, we didn’t build for you.

“We have to shake Britain out of its inertia on the projects that matter the most.”

The news comes after the Tories dramatically ‘unpaused’ northern rail electrification ahead of conference, after facing a backlash over the move in the summer.

It is unclear exactly how the new body will interact with Transport for the North, the coalition of northern councils set up – and handed £30m – in the summer budget to ‘set out transport policies and investment policies’ in a ‘long-term strategy’.

Sources said TfN, which has been spearheaded by Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese, would ‘feed in’ to the review.

In addition the Chancellor will also announce plans to merge the country’s 89 local government pension funds, including Greater Manchester’s, into five or six regional pots of around £25bn each – so they are big enough to invest in infrastructure projects.

Greater Manchester’s pension fund already controls £16bn in assets.

Legally the new pots cannot be forced to choose infrastructure – but the Treasury believes they are far more likely to do so with access to greater funds.

Story courtesy of Manchester Evening News – transport in manchester

Electric trains introduced Liverpool to Preston

Category : News

Electric trains to be introduced on Liverpool to Preston line – but direct services to Blackpool to change


The direct train service between Liverpool and Blackpool is set to be cut next month.

Northern Rail is introducing electric trains between Lime Street and Preston following the introduction of an electrified line.

But the trains won’t be able to continue to Blackpool because that stretch of the line is not yet electrified.

Passengers wishing to continue their journey to Blackpool will need to do so by diesel rail.

Northern Rail say there will remain some direct diesel services to Blackpool on a reduced basis but that, overall, there will be more services following the introduction of the electrified track.

Joselyn Rankin, of Northern Rail said: “The people of Liverpool will have better trains running north with the introduction of the electric.

“The introduction of these larger, four-carriage trains will increase Northern’s total capacity by an estimated 4.8m and are more environmentally friendly than their diesel predecessors.”

She said: “The change will only affect the passengers who continue their journey beyond Preston, which at the moment is only 10%. But those who do will be able to use the diesel direct or take an electric train to Preston and continue their journey on a diesel.

“There will still be the hourly through service between Liverpool and Blackpool on Sundays.”

There are some services already operated by electrics in the area. The half-hourly stopping service between Liverpool and Wigan on weekdays is operated by a Class 319 electric train.


Transport Exchange traffic up by one third

Category : News

Transport Exchange Group Traffic Up By One Third

The number of loads posted on Transport Exchange Group’s freight trading web site in the past six months up by more than a third year-on-year, reflecting increasing demand for freight capacity.

The TEG said membership of Haulage Exchange and Courier Exchange had grown by ten per cent so far this year alone to more than 4,000 operators with a virtual fleet of 40,000 vehicles.

Lyall Cresswell, Managing Director of Transport Exchange Group, said: “Using the exchange, our members are able to identify, develop and maintain lasting relationships with partners and subcontractors to create trusted networks, which maximise and expand capabilities where required.”