The great northern powerhouse will join up the Mersey and the Tyne say leaders

Cutting journey times between Liverpool and Newcastle from three hours to two hours will be a key part of the One North proposals for improved transport links in the region say the leaders of the two cities.

On the day that the Transport for the North Project Board meets for the first time to discuss the plans for a new hi speed route across the Pennines, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, have teamed up to back the case for coast to coast transport improvements which will genuinely unlock the potential for economic growth across the North.

The One North Plans will link the west and east coast mainlines greatly improving connections between the North’s two great port cities.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool said: “If we want to rebalance the economy, we also have to rebalance transport spending. Government has invested billions on Cross Rail in London and continues to spend significantly more per capita in London than it does across the entire north.

“In Liverpool, our port is busier than ever and we are investing to grow it significantly over the next few years. We have to make sure we have the transport infrastructure in place to be able to carry freight and passengers across the north if we are to maximise the benefits. It’s only with this approach that the whole of the UK economy will benefit.

“We are ready to go, we are ready to provide, we are ready to thrive, but we simply can’t do it without the long term commitment of government to invest for a whole Northern future.”

Leader of Newcastle City Council Cllr Nick Forbes said: “The One North proposals are hugely important to the economic resurgence of the North of England. The plans will join up the North from the Mersey to the Tyne – reducing journey times from Newcastle to Liverpool from three hours to two hours.

“Just as the great Geordie genius George Stephenson helped unleash the industrial revolution when he built the first railways across the north, a joined up north from the Mersey to the Tyne can once again be the economic powerhouse which will transform the UK’s economy. And it is not just rail – this is an integrated plan which will see the extension of motorway networks and a recognition of the hugely important role played by regional airports as vital transport hubs.

“The whole of the north stands united behind this plan with clear governance, a strong proposition, and a sound business case. We hope that the government will work with us to make the most of this exciting opportunity.”