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Chancellor oversees start of airport railway construction

Chancellor oversees start of airport railway construction
7 Feb 2014

The chancellor George Osborne was on site today (7 February) to oversee the start of works to improve the rail link and station at Manchester Airport.

The project forms part of a £600 million rail investment programme in the north, which is projected to create up to 20,000 jobs, boost the economy by £4 billion and provide long-term benefits to passengers by increasing capacity and cutting journey times.

In turn, this is part of the National Infrastructure Plan, which was unveiled by the government in 2013 and sets out the country's strategy for the next ten years.

By electrifying existing lines and performing major improvements to the network in and around Manchester, the Northern Hub rail upgrades will allow up to 700 more trains to run each day, providing space for 44m passengers to the area per year once it is completed in 2019. 

The programme will be particularly beneficial to Manchester Airport, which is the third biggest in the UK after Heathrow and Gatwick, with the completed rail links set to offer better connections for businesses and travellers to the Airport City Enterprise Zone.

'Each part of this project, like the first work at Manchester Airport station that I've kicked off today, will help us build the infrastructure we need to compete in the global race,' the chancellor said, referencing the need to keep pace with emerging nations in Asia such as China. 

'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.'

Manchester is the UK's largest regional airport, with 22m passengers a year. Its offering of flights to 225 destinations worldwide represents more choice than any other airport in Britain.

Thanks to its location, the airport is within a two-hour travel time of one third of the UK's population, and the new rail links will only increase its appeal. ADNFCR-408-ID-801691343-ADNFCR

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