Northern Chambers talk rail investment with Minister

Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 01st, Dec

This week started with a red-eye train journey to Manchester for a joint meeting with the Minister for Rail, Paul Maynard, MP.

Representatives of government, rail operators and private sector businesses joined our colleagues from Greater Manchester and West and North Yorkshire Chambers to discuss the North’s priorities for rail improvements and investment.

As you would expect, the general consensus was that the North needs increased connectivity if we are to make any significant impact on improving the movement of people and freight, with Liverpool particularly set to benefit from connectivity to HS2 and, in the future, to Northern Powerhouse Rail. Maximising the port’s connectivity through improved access and boosting rail capacity for freight is integral to achieving the potential for our city region.

I was particularly encouraged by both the Minister’s familiarity with the region (he is one of that rare species of Northern MPs to hold a Ministerial portfolio) and the way in which he spoke so positively about Liverpool and the city region. It was also clear that he recognised the contributions of the three Chambers to the debate. He certainly understood the need to tackle the ‘rail-speak’ that dominates much of government rhetoric to make this crucial agenda more relevant to business.

A further meeting with the Minister will take place with British Chambers of Commerce next week where the positioning of rail connectivity within the context of the industrial strategy will be discussed and debated. We will be there to further promote the needs of Liverpool and the North so don’t hesitate to get in touch if there are any issues you want us to raise.

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