Liverpool and Manchester call for more transport investment to help rebalance UK economy

Sir Howard Bernstein, CEO Manchester City Council, Baroness Susan Williams, chair of Atlantic Gateway and Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpoo

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Manchester’s chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein today (Tuesday, March 11) called on Government to look at national transport infrastructure if it is serious about rebalancing the UK economy. 

That was the clear message coming out of the first event that Liverpool and Manchester have collaborated on at MIPIM (Marché International des Professionels d’Immobilier), the world’s largest property event held annually in Cannes, France, taking place 11-14 March, 2014.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool told a packed audience at the ‘Atlantic Gateway Back to the Future’ event, that: “Atlantic Gateway is a great opportunity for both Liverpool and Manchester to work together with our combined city regions for the North West and to convince those in government, whatever their colour, that there has to be a genuine attempt to rebalance the economy and work to make the North West an even more prosperous region than it can and should be.”

Sir Howard said: “Whatever view we take about the economic dominance of London and the South East, we have to argue for a rebalancing of the UK economy which is underpinned by 16 or 17 times more per head of levels of transport investment going in to London and the South East, compared to everywhere outside.

“That is a startling fact, if we are going to improve our economic performance as a region we’ve got to improve connectivity in terms of businesses to trading areas and improve the connectivity of people to jobs and that’s how we invest in our transport system.

“Therefore, what we have to create is a very powerful strategic framework in the North West which enables us, not just to exploit those global trends, but also create the impetus for more investment not just in our port connections between Liverpool and Manchester but also with connections to Hull.”

Atlantic Gateway encompasses the £300m Liverpool2 project which will allow the Port of Liverpool to handle the world’s biggest cargo ships, the new Halton Bridge, 3MG multi-model hub at Widnes, the £800m Manchester Airport City development and the HS2 rail link.