Transport for the North has unveiled its plans for a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline - a 30-year investment plan of infrastructure projects to underpin greener Northern growth.
It said the plans would create up to 20,000 construction and design jobs and deliver a £3 return on investment for every £1 spent.
TfN, which has representatives from local and combined authorities as well as business leaders, recently unveiled a proposed Economic Recovery Plan. It said the new transport pipeline is the announcement of the first tranche of 166 projects that could help create new job opportunities in the North immediately.
The plan is split into schemes which can be done within 6-18 months, thus immediately supporting jobs and the region’s recovery; schemes that can start construction within 2-4 years, supporting longer term economic recovery and rebuilding, and schemes where immediate investment in accelerating the development of projects would support jobs, boost confidence and maintain an ongoing Northern Infrastructure Pipeline to transform the North.
Barry White, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said: "Our focus must be on rebuilding the North’s economy, which was already at an economic disadvantage to the South before COVID-19 hit.
“Crucially, these aren’t new or over-ambitious asks. They’re projects already in the system that now need the starting gun firing or a bit of work to nudge them across the line.
“The Economic Recovery Plan, and the Northern Infrastructure Pipeline within it, is aimed at how we rebuild and transform the North. It shows Northern leaders coming together at a time of national crisis and putting a united, pragmatic plan to our partners in Government."
Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning at Lancashire County Council, said: "We know the government is keen to invest in transport infrastructure, particularly where there is evidence that projects can be delivered quickly and that every pound spent will have a good return and give confidence to businesses.
"We've put forward a number of schemes as part of the Transport for the North Economic Recovery Plan which are at an advanced stage, and where an injection of cash now could lead to work on the ground being able to start quickly.
"These road, rail and sustainable transport improvements are needed to update our infrastructure and ensure Lancashire can meet the needs of residents and businesses as our economy recovers from the pandemic and grows over the coming years.
"There are also a number of bigger schemes within Lancashire where we already have a business case in development to support them, but investment at this stage could really accelerate their delivery. These schemes, such as the Skelmersdale Rail Link, really do have the potential to transform opportunities for our communities and boost Lancashire's contribution to the UK economy."
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: "TfN’s Northern Infrastructure Pipeline is an essential part of securing the North’s economic recovery after the pandemic is over.
“It is also a vital first step in addressing the legacy of the historic under-investment in transport infrastructure across the North."