Northern airports have come together to support Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan and are inviting the public to comment on the plans.

The thirty-year plan is the first of its kind and outlines how transport connections across the north of England need to be transformed by 2050 to drive growth and close the economic gap between the north and the rest of England.

This will be done by increasing the efficiency, reliability and resilience in the transport system, transforming economic performance, improving access to opportunities across the north, and promoting and supporting the built and natural environment.

The plan aims to rebalance the UK’s economy through a sustained 30-year programme of transport infrastructure investment, which could deliver a £100billion economic boost and 850,000 additional jobs by 2050.

Barry White, Transport for the North’s new chief executive, said: “An incredible amount of work has gone into the production of the draft Strategic Transport Plan, including collaboration between the public and private sector across the whole of the north.

“The plan is underpinned with a robust evidence base, making a compelling case for the investment priorities that would transform the economy of the north and the UK as a whole. I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to share this work with the public and invite their questions and comments.

“This is crucial to ensuring the plan is fit for purpose and meets the needs and aspirations of those who will benefit from improved infrastructure and economic prosperity – the citizens of the north.”

Northern airports provide international connections for around 42 million passengers per year, but, combined, have the capacity the serve 60 million more.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “We welcome Transport for the North’s draft strategic plan and its recognition about the importance for people and businesses across the north to have easy access to global markets.

“Large-scale investment in transport infrastructure, through projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and High Speed 2, is key to unlocking the north’s full potential. Integrating both of these schemes with the international connections at Manchester Airport will ensure that the benefits from these investments, through greater access to global markets, are spread across the whole of the north.

“Better international connectivity into and out of the region will plug investors directly into the Northern Powerhouse and offer great access to the world’s powerhouses for the near 28 million people who fly into and out of Manchester Airport each year.”

Transport for the North’s public consultation runs until April 17 with engagement events taking place across the region. A final version of the plan will be published later in the year and submitted to the government for ministerial consideration.

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