A review for regional airports affected by the recent devolution of Air Passenger Duty was announced today by the government.
It came as part of the small print in plans to improve transport links across the north of England.
The ambitious ‘TransNorth’ scheme – covering road and rail – includes work to better connect Manchester airport to neighbouring cities “in order to boost international links and make the north more globally competitive”.
No more details of the APD review were available as part of the strategy launch this morning.
However, any action is likely to be welcomed by the trade which has voiced concerns over the impact of APD powers being devolved to Scotland and Wales.
The northern transport strategy set out today includes the go-ahead of the A6 to Manchester airport relief road.
Other plans cover the development of a network of high speed lines – with sections capable of speeds up to 140 miles per hour – connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull.
Journey times between Liverpool and Manchester could be cut to 20 minutes; Manchester to Sheffield and Leeds could both be 30 minutes; Leeds to Hull down to 45 minutes and Sheffield to Hull 50 minutes.
Travel times from Manchester to Newcastle could be cut by 25% as part of the plans.
Options range from upgrading existing routes to building completely new lines.
The plans also include bringing the controversial HS2 high speed line from London to Crewe earlier than originally planned.
The government also pledged to also look at the case for accelerating the construction of the Leeds to Sheffield route, and allowing it to be used by fast regional train services.
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