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Metro Chairman Councillor Ryk Downes has
welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor in today's budget that
improvements to trans-Pennine rail links will go ahead.
"Improving rail service linking Leeds and Huddersfield with
Manchester and Liverpool is key to making the route a real
alternative to the M62," he said.
Cllr Downes also said he was pleased that Mr Osborne had
announced that priority would be given to capital projects that
provide a 'significant economic return to the country' and that a
Regional Growth Fund to finance regional capital projects 'that
have the greatest impact on innovation and jobs'.
"The Department for Transport has already acknowledged the
value-for-money benefits that the planned NGT trolleybus network
would achieve, including the creation of 4,000 long-term jobs, so I
can't see how the Government would not give it the go-ahead after
its spending review," he said.
The new southern entrance to Leeds Station had also met
Department for Transport requirements, Cllr Downes continued, and a
£4m private sector contribution to the cost of building vital
new stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge represented
extremely good value for money.
"I hope that the Government will be as good as its word and give
us the opportunity to progress these important schemes which are
designed to help the region and the country grow the way out of the
recession in exactly the way the Chancellor has outlined in his
"I look forward to meeting with Ministers to remind them of the
benefits of our proposals so that we can get them moving as soon as