North East business organisation calls for local transport investment by Government

The North East’s largest independent business organisation has launched a report calling for transport investment to support sustainable growth, amid concerns rail projects could be cancelled. In a report, based on consultation with businesses and transport operators, North East England Chamber of Commerce set out the “benefits” of using mainline and public transport as a catalyst to transform the region’s infrastructure, boost recovery and build on strengths in energy and manufacturing. Marianne O Sullivan, Chamber policy adviser said: “A transport revolution will only occur through coherent, sustained investment across local, regional and national infrastructure.

We are therefore very concerned by the reports that the eastern leg of HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and upgrades on the East Coast Main Line may not happen. “Increasing capacity in the Northern rail network will be crucial to addressing so many challenges that we face as a nation, including the levelling-up agenda, supporting businesses and in our efforts to decarbonise our economy. “We need the Government to be ambitious in its ‘build back better’ programme and commit to investing in truly transformational projects for the North.

“The Government’s own Decarbonisation of Transport Report highlights capacity on the rail network as key to supporting a significant shift from road to rail. Building rail capacity on the East Coast Main Line needs to be a key part of the integrated rail plan. Kevin Bell, a partner at law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, a Chamber member, added: “It is important that we seize the opportunity to improve our transport offering.

“We need to be able to offer cleaner, smarter and more equitable solutions whilst ensuring that future infrastructure upgrades are delivered and additional transport funding is readily available to assist with the North East’s economic recovery.”

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