Sheffield and London property chiefs unite to call for better transport in North

Property chiefs in London and Sheffield say ‘lack of urgency and vision' around transport infrastructure in the North is undermining ‘levelling up’.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 12:45 pm

Sheffield Property Association and London Property Alliance believe an affordable, integrated and accessible network is the best way to ‘level up’ and without greater connectivity city regions will continue to lag.

The trade bodies represent more than 500 property firms in South Yorkshire and the capital. And they have issued a 10-point-plan to build back from the pandemic - which is endorsed by Andy Burnham, metro mayor for Greater Manchester

Martin McKervey, chair, Sheffield Property Association, said: “A lack of urgency and vision from Government on transport infrastructure has not only stymied growth and impacted productivity in and around regional cities, it risks undermining its own ‘levelling up’ agenda.

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Martin McKervey, chair of Sheffield Property Association.

“City regions need greater autonomy and funding, supported by a national strategic vision. Regional leaders also need to step up as success requires strong city leadership to ensure their cities and surrounding towns can develop, with housing, jobs and transformative developments linked to new transport.”

Charles Begley, executive director of London Property Alliance, said: “The ad hoc nature of transport investment and the absence of a clear and coherent strategy is one of the major barriers to levelling up and driving social and economic prosperity across all regions of the country.

Their recommendations include better support for metro mayors, embracing public-private partnerships which bring the cash to get things built, greater devolution of revenue raising powers and a putting planning and funding of major new trasnport schemes ‘at a level above that of the local authority’.

Andy Burnham said: “Across the world, the most successful city-regions have one thing in common – an affordable, integrated and accessible transport network.

Charles Begley, third from right, with (from right) Liz Peace CBE, property adviser, Clive Betts MP, Martin McKervey, David Ainsworth, Craig McWilliam and Rosie Day of the London Property Alliance (CPA&WPA) on the terrace at the House of Commons at a joint event in 2019.

“That is why I have spoken passionately about the fact Greater Manchester requires a fully-integrated ‘London-style’ transport network since taking office in 2017.

“Not only will it benefit the everyday lives of people by providing a real alternative to the car, cutting congestion and cleaning up the air it will also support the continued economic development and success of the region.

“Transforming everyday transport in places like Greater Manchester is arguably the single best way to level-up. It’s something where real, tangible change can, with the necessary impetus and vision, be delivered quickly.”

East Midlands Railways train at Sheffield Midland station. Picture: Chris Etchells

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.