Northern Powerhouse: Shaving one minute off journey times could provide £1.6bn boost northern cities

Chris Papadopoullos
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Mace said the UK had a history of slow progress in delivering boosts to infrastructure (Source: Getty)

Shaving just 60 seconds off the time it takes to travel to key services could provide a £1.6bn economic boost to the northern regions of the UK, according to new research published today.

Using so-called value of time research, consultancy and construction company Mace said for all regions outside of London, saving the extra minute could provide a £4.7bn lift.

In the north of England less than 60 per cent of the population is within 30 minutes of an area where over 5,000 jobs are available by public transport, Mace said. In London the figure is 79 per cent.

Mace believes infrastructure projects will gain support provided they grant obvious benefits to local residents, rather than being sold on their overall national benefit.

"This research backs up our position. To transform the economy of the North we need to focus on transport infrastructure,” said David Brown, chief executive of Transport for the North.

"The ongoing Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review – which will be released later this Spring – will further add to the evidence base, providing intelligence on the key transport elements which can help close the North’s prosperity gap."

Jason Millett, chief operating officer for major programmes and infrastructure at Mace, said:

Transport infrastructure is vital for boosting growth and increasing wellbeing. Yet the UK has a history of slow progress in delivery what is required to attract business investment, creating jobs and regenerating towns and cities across the entire country.

Reducing journey times by just 60 seconds could lead to significant benefits, especially to regions outside London. At the same time, joining up our major cities and improving the quality and amenity of our transport hubs under the leadership of local leaders, could really accelerate the government’s devolution revolution.

Area % of population within 30 minutes of employment centres with at least 5,000 jobs available by public transport
London 79%
West Midlands 61%
North East 61%
North West 59%
Yorkshire and the Humber 53%
South East 46%
East 45%
South West 41%
East Midlands 41%

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