Senior Tories including former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine have urged Philip Hammond to commit £100 billion to transform northern England’s rail and road network to prevent future generations enduring the misery faced by today’s commuters.
Lord Heseltine, along with other Conservatives including former transport minister Sir Robert Goodwill and ex-whip Sir Greg Knight, are among a cross-party group of more than 80 MPs and peers to press for extra investment.
They call on the Chancellor to use his Budget to commit £24 billion of funding for the high-speed Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) scheme.
That would involve an initial £24 billion of funding, including at least £200 million a year to bring forward the target completion date to coincide with the planned arrival of the HS2 line to Leeds and Manchester in 2032.
Critics have highlighted the amount spent on transport in the South East compared with the North.