Yesterday, Network Rail published its business plan for 2014 to 2019. It is good news for Manchester jobs and growth.
The plan includes over £1 billion of investment for the North West. This investment will create 20,000 jobs and boost investment, returning £4 to the regional economy for every £1 spent.
Local passengers will benefit from shorter journey times and more frequent services. The journey from Manchester to Leeds, for instance, will be cut by 10 minutes.
On of the most telling statistics is that this government has committed to electrifying over 800 miles of track over the next five years. During its 13 years in office the Labour government electrified just 10 miles! Electrifying the North West and North TransPennine lines will spare the environment and cut journey times.
In the long term, this huge modernisation project will reduce running costs and help put an end to runaway increases in train fares.
Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in government Manchester residents will also benefit from High-Speed Rail and, after Labour delays, the extended Metrolink.
British railways are seeing their biggest investment in over 100 years. I am proud that the Lib Dems in government are seeing this through despite having to sort out Labour’s economic mess. I am delighted that Manchester will benefit from better train services and 20,000 new jobs.