MP backs £39bn Northern Powerhouse funding bid

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson backed calls for a “Northern Budget” to help rebalance the economy with £39 billion of transport infrastructure investment.

The MP attended the launch of the Transport Across the North APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group), to support the bid for vital funding in the North after “decades” of underinvestment.

The MP says the government should put as much as £39 billion into Northern Powerhouse Rail, which would help take pressure off the roads, improve connectivity, boost economic growth and tackle climate change

The MP said: “Decades of underinvestment means the North is unable to reach its full potential. Our creaking infrastructure contributes to the North being 25 per cent less productive than the English average, while slow journey times and poor connectivity mean our towns and cities don’t work as one. Local businesses struggle to compete in generating and retaining high skilled, high quality jobs. I would have liked to have seen a Northern Budget as part of the Governments recent Spending Round to deliver the necessary boost to infrastructure. Unfortunately you can’t trust this government to invest in the North.”

Barry White, Chief Executive for Transport for the North, said:

“If we’re to truly tackle imbalance in the UK’s economy and power up the North, we need sustained and substantial investment in our infrastructure. We’ve outlined our asks for a Northern Budget – a pipeline of road and rail projects to the mid-2020s as well as full commitment to the whole Northern Powerhouse Rail network. We’ll continue to make the North’s needs known to Government ahead of this Autumn’s anticipated infrastructure strategy.”

PIC: Bill Esterson MP at the APPG launch