News: John Cridland – I refuse to accept that North has to be poor relation

Yorkshire Post 6th January 2018  – a couple of extracts from this wide-ranging interview

“As well as rail connections, details to emerge so far from the strategic transport plan include a change of tack for the much-discussed Trans-Pennine tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester. TfN’s early solution rejects the previously-suggested 20 mile tunnel through the Peak District in favour of a shorter, and cheaper, version following the A628 Woodhead Pass. The details would be worked out following consultation with residents, but would involve dual-carriageway quality route that bypasses villages such as Tintwistle and Mottram.”

”You are saying a young person in Bradford, with better Bradford connectivity to Manchester, could do that digital job in Manchester with a daily commute, or a kid in Salford who gets a better education from a Salford academy, because Northern Powerhouse improves schools, could do that legal job in Sheffield with a daily commute. “At the moment, they can’t, but the distances across the Pennines are not that much longer than the Central Line of the London Tube. But people don’t do the daily commute because the trains aren’t fast enough, there aren’t enough carriages, there aren’t enough seats and there isn’t enough reliability.”

… “Some £150m is being spent on contactless travel, with the aim that by 2021 people in the North will be able to do more than people in London can with an Oyster card, using the same device to travel by bus, tram or inter-city train. All told, TfN’s vision will cost between £2bn and £2.3bn a year, working out at £150 per northern citizen a year and £50 a head more than what would otherwise have been spent.”

Read more here.