By Peter Devine
THE Chancellor of the Exchequer visited Manchester Airport to launch a £600m investment project to improve transport links
George Osborne MP marked the start of construction of a fourth platform at Manchester Airport station, in the first phase of a project, which spans the north of England.
The £600m Northern Hub project will provide is claimed to provide significant long-term benefits to passengers and help stimulate economic growth in the region by providing faster, more regular and reliable connections between towns and cities. Alongside Network Rail’s electrification plan, more than £1bn will be invested in the railway in the north of England by 2019.
Mr Osborne said: “ “Each part of this project 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.”
Andrew Cowan, chief operating officer for Manchester Airports Group (MAG), owners of Manchester Airport, said: “We welcome the fourth platform at the airport station. It will further open up the airport for our catchment area across northern England. Furthermore it will provide direct access for businesses and employees to our £800m Airport City development, which is transforming the area around the station into an international business hub.
“The fact the development can be completed ahead of schedule and alongside other construction works taking place will be advantageous to employees, the local community and of course our 20m plus airport passengers each year, many of which use the station, which operates 24 hours a day.”
The £20m platform upgrade at the airport station is due for completion by the end of 2015.