Transport forum on northern cities connectivity proposals
8th August 2014
Reacting to proposals for improved transport connections across northern cities, Peter Kennan, vice-chair of Sheffield Chamber's transport forum and Partner at Chartered Accountants Hawsons, said: -We must connect our major centres properly and with speed and convenience.
However, any developments must extend beyond Manchester and Leeds to cover cities such as Sheffield. -There is a great opportunity to join Sheffield and Manchester together to help contribute to this power house in the north. Leeds and Manchester already have the M62 motorway, whereas Sheffield and Manchester have the A57, a slow single carriageway road which provides poor journey times. -This lack of robust road infrastructure which is easily disrupted due to accidents and weather conditions, plus the added environmental sensitivities the Peak District National Park brings to any transport project, offers the need for an alternative option. -Therefore, any proposals to improve connectivity in the north must include improvements to rail links between Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds. This is what we are putting to the Chancellor. -The result would see significantly more employment and GDP growth. Sheffield is a major advanced manufacturing city with continued focus on that sector which is vitally important to re-balancing the UK economy. To bolster manufacturing in Sheffield we need better transport links to Manchester and onwards to Liverpool. -Sheffield has good motorway road links to Hull and the East Coast and by raising the quality of the Sheffield-Manchester link, these two northern cities would be better equipped for 21st century manufacturing and trading.