The Arriva Rail North and First TransPennineExpress rail franchises were launched at Manchester Piccadilly station this morning, as the new operators promised a removal of outdated trains, and newer and more frequent services across the North.
Some… Okay, anyone who has ever played a game of sardines on the commuter trains in and out of Manchester would say that investment in the transport links in the North West is long overdue.The pros and cons of HS2 have been very well documented. It certainly looks as though we are past the point of no return and HS2 is coming (slowly, but coming). The question should therefore be, to take real advantage of the faster links to the Capital, how the North gets to Manchester Piccadilly as efficiently.We are entering a new era for business, where London businesses north-shore and outsource to Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. The investment in our Northern Powerhouse cannot afford to be hampered by transport links that are not up to scratch.