We recently attended a transport planning meeting in Preston to put forward our views on the priorities for improving road and rail infrastructure in Lancashire and Cumbria.
The meeting, organised by Transport for the North, brought together stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and with FSB’s new report ‘An Entrepreneurial North: Helping small businesses and entrepreneurship to thrive in the North of England’ newly printed, we had plenty of up to date member input to share with TfN.
For Lancashire we stressed the need to better connect the east of the county to the Yorkshire cities prominent in Northern Powerhouse plans. If part of the aim of Northern Powerhouse is to increase job opportunities for people across the north by enabling more people to reach urban centres within a one hour commute, then having a viable alternative to navigating the M62 would be crucial. As such, improved road and rail links from East Lancashire to West Yorkshire were discussed.
For Cumbria we pushed for much improved east-west connectivity. Members have told us on many occasions that local road and rail away from the M6 and West Coast mainline are inadequate. Improvements and reduced journey times would therefore be a big boost to the local economies of Cumbria, particularly those located on the coast.
We also pushed for Fleetwood in Lancashire to be part of plans to improve accessibility with the A roads connecting the town with other parts of the county consistently congested.
Transport for the North will be including our input as they develop plans to improve transport connectivity across the north of England over the short, medium and long term.
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