THE Chancellor has officially launched a regional train congestion-buster set to boost Wigan’s public transport services.
Long awaited, the £600m Northern Hub project will free up a carriages bottleneck which restricts the number of Wigan trains able to access Manchester.
George Osborne celebrated the start of construction of a fourth platform at Manchester Airport station this week which marks the first phase of a project which spans the north of England.
The Hub project will provide significant long-term benefits to passengers and help stimulate economic growth in the region by providing faster, more regular and reliable connections between Manchester’s two main station and satellite rail connected towns like Wigan.
Alongside Network Rail’s electrification programme, more than £1bn will be invested in the railway in the north over the next five years.
Mr Osborne said the Government’s long term plan was about securing economic recovery. He added: “The Northern Hub will create billions for the region. Each part of this project, like the first work at Manchester Airport station that I’ve kicked off, will help us build the infrastructure we need to compete in the global race.
“This investment will ensure growth is not concentrated in any one place by keeping Britain connected and creating thousands of local jobs, delivering a brighter economic future for the whole country.”
Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “The Northern Hub and electrification programme is the biggest investment in the railway in the north of England for a generation and will transform rail travel for millions of passengers.
“Providing a faster, more regular and reliable railway between key towns and cities provides significant benefits to passengers and helps to boost the economy, making it quicker and easier to travel further for work or pleasure.”