Marianne O Sullivan, policy adviser, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “Today’s Department for Transport plans are welcome funding for the Trans Pennine route but a missed opportunity to address East Coast Main Line’s lack of capacity. The North East is facing historical under-investment in its transport links and urgently needs investment as part of the economic recovery process.
“We appreciate £589 million has been announced for upgrades of the TransPennine line, the most congested section of this route will be doubled from two to four tracks creating more reliable East-West rail connections for the North. However, passengers will still be facing delays on the northern section of the East Coast Main Line. There also needs to be capacity upgrades to this route to improve journeys to Yorkshire, the North West, the Midlands and London.
The new Northern Transport Acceleration Council will give North East Mayors and political leaders direct contact with Ministers and the Department for Transport to make the case for investment in the region’s transport networks.’
“We already have Transport for the North set up to improve connectivity in the North, the role of this new Council needs to avoid confusion and demonstrate that it can deliver infrastructure projects that will benefit the North East and give confidence to businesses.