UK govt unveils northern rail transformation plans

<p>The chancellor is set to unveil the Northern Transport Strategy later today.</p>

Rail services across the north of England are set to be transformed thanks to a new plan unveiled by the government later today (March 20th).

Chancellor George Osborne will lay out the plans for the Northern Transport Strategy which hopes to improve rail and road links across the region. In what Mr Osborne believes will create a "northern powerhouse", the government wants to speed up train times between major cities. The report is a collaboration between the government and the newly formed Transport for North (TfN).

The plans build on previous HS2 proposals which aim to bring high-speed trains to England. Among the proposed new routes for the north is a Leeds to Newcastle service which will bring travel times down to about 50 minutes, with a cost of between £8.5 billion and £14 billion.

Sheffield to Manchester and Manchester to Leeds routes will be under 30 minutes with an estimated cost of £12 billion to £19 billion. The plans would also include the introduction of an Oyster-style smart travel card which could be used anywhere in the north.

Mr Osborne said: "Connecting up the great cities of the north is at the heart of our plan to build a northern powerhouse.

"From backing high-speed rail to introducing simpler fares right across the north, our ambitious plans for transport mean we will deliver a truly national recovery where every part of the country will share in Britain's prosperity."

Integrating the north into HS2

The government's controversial HS2 plan is designed to dramatically cut journey times between London and Birmingham. The multi-billion pound proposals will mean the capital is accessible from the Midlands in around an hour. However, there have been calls to integrate the north into these plans.

This has resulted in an extension of the scheme which sees a splintering at the Pennines with services going to Manchester and Leeds via Sheffield. Ministers are also looking at the creation of a HS3 service which would improve journey times across the north and also reduce the stress on the current rail network.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.