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Budget to green light major UK transport schemes

NCE stock roads

Crossrail 2, High Speed 3 (HS3) and a trans-Pennine road tunnel are among long term infrastructure projects set to be given a £300M boost by chancellor George Osborne. 

The chancellor, increasingly keen to be seen to favour infrastructure schemes, will formally make the pledge in tomorrow’s budget. The schemes being awarded funding have been identified as having significant potential to be accelerated by reports by the Lord Adonis-led National Infrastructure Commission – one released last week on the benefits of Crossrail 2 and one today on connectivity in the North of England.

Osborne is set to give £60M to HS3, which aims to reduce journey times between Leeds and Manchester from 49mins today to 30mins; and £80M to develop Crossrail 2 in London, which will also be the subject of legislation planned to be introduced in this Parliament. Transport for London is being asked to match that funding to aid the scheme’s development.

As part of an attempt to bolster ambitions for a Northern Powerhouse there will be £300M for the region, to include the HS3 funding, plus:

  • Some £75M will go toward exploring options for a trans-Pennine road tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester, as well as looking at options to enhance the A66, A69 and the north west quadrant of the M6
  • Highways England will receive £161M to accelerate upgrades to the M62 between junctions 10-12 Warrington to Eccles and junctions 20-25 Rochdale to Brighouse.

Snake Pass

Snake Pass

As part of an attempt to bolster ambitions for a Northern Powerhouse there will be £300M for the region, to include funding to accelerate High Speed 3 and a trans-Pennine road tunnel.

“With the difficulties we see in the global economy, we’ve got to make Britain fit for the future,” said Osborne. “Now is the time us to make the bold decisions and the big investments that will help us to lead the world in infrastructure, and create jobs, push up living standards and boost our productivity for the next generation. 

“That’s what my Budget this week sets out to do.”

He added: “We set up the National Infrastructure Commission to think for the long term, plan for the future and help us lead the world. I want to thank Lord Adonis and the National Infrastructure Commission for their excellent work in setting out the long term priorities for London and the Northern Powerhouse, which I am determined to deliver.”


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