To progress the delivery of the Transpennine route upgrade, additional funding of £959 million has been made available. Quadrant Transport looks at how the budget will further the UK Government’s levelling up and decarbonisation objectives.
The UK Government has made available the additional £959 million funding as another step towards upgrading the key east-west rail artery across the North of England.
In addition to progressing the design of aspects of the upgrade, the funding aims to enable further on-the-ground delivery of electrification and journey time improvement works, mostly west of Leeds.
Modal Shift Is Needed To Reach Our Net Zero Targets
One of the benefits of the additional funding is seeing electric trains being enabled to run between Manchester and Stalybridge by the middle of the decade.
It is said that the government is developing a scope that will enable the Transpennine route upgrade to become the first phase of Northern Powerhouse Rail, including plans to unlock freight flows and take thousands of lorries off roads.
Encouraging modal shift is essential when it comes to the UK reaching our net zero targets. Seeing electrification and new lines in the Integrated Rail Plan means that 75 per cent of Britain’s main truck routes will be decarbonised.
Train Services Must Be Reliable
Investment in the Transpennine route upgrade is going to be more than trebled, from £2.9 billion to between £9.0 billion and £11.5 billion.
By enabling the rollout of digital signalling technology, electrification of the full route and the provision of additional tracks for commercial and freight services, rail users could be provided with more reliable, more punctual, and greener rail journeys.
As outlined in the Department for Transport’s ‘Integrated Rail Plan’, rail users experiencing reliable services are “crucial for people’s ability to plan their lives, and to the government’s ambitions to Build Back Better. As identified by the NIC, poor reliability risks holding back economic opportunities across the North and Midlands.”
Improvements in performance and operational resilience through the major investment outlined in the IRP will ensure train services are more reliable as passengers expect.
To date, the UK Government has approved over £2 billion of funding for the upgrade. The further £959 million of funding highlights the government’s commitment to transforming rail connectivity across the North as part of the Integrated Rail Plan.
The Transpennine Route Upgrade Is The Focus Of Rail North
Coming together to discuss the Transpennine route upgrade, Peloton Events is hosting the next instalment of Rail North at the Royal Armouries Hotel in Leeds on 20 October 2022.
Key figureheads from the northern rail industry will be brought together to discuss the region’s ongoing priorities.
These include Transport for the North’s vision for strategic transport improvements and the role rail will play in this, existing opportunities within the current framework, key objectives to be delivered beyond CP6, meeting our decarbonising goals through improvements to rolling stock and though electrification, and a full understanding of the TRU programme, featuring:
- The social impact of the investment
- The sustainability benefits
- The importance of new routes to build sustainable communities
- The importance of continued innovation
With panel discussions, presentations, and specialist seminars, the event will be full of insights into levelling up the region and what steps are needed to address the North-South divide.
The day will also give the supply chain an opportunity to re-connect with decision-makers and help to reinforce your commercial credentials for one of the UK’s most exciting projects.