Government 'to green light Northern Powerhouse Rail'

Reports that the government is preparing to "give the green light" to major infrastructure projects such as the planned Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that chancellor Sajid Javid is set to allocate "tens of billions of pounds of capital spending on new infrastructure, rewarding areas won by the Conservatives at last month’s general election". It says that, announcing March 11 as the Budget date, Javid is to promise a "decade of renewal". The newspaper says that, as part of this, the government will "give the green light to major projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, a proposed new line linking areas between Manchester and Leeds".

A leader column in The Guardian says that "in a packed list of housing announcements in December, ministers avoided any measures that would have had a real impact on the UK housing crisis". It adds: "There were no house building targets. No mention of social housing. And perhaps most glaring given the election campaign pitch, no acknowledgment of the proposed surcharge on foreign buyers. There needs to be less glorification of power and money and more thought given to the wellbeing and needs of citizens."

The Evening Standard reports that the "company behind plans to build Britain’s biggest theme park has made total losses of more than £50 million before even applying for planning permission". It says that the £3.5 billion movie themed London Resort "is due to be built on a 535-acre former landfill site between Gravesend and Dartford".

The Times (subscription) reports that the "£18 billion Crossrail line through London could be delayed by three years". According to the newspaper, mayoral agency Transport for London said the east-west link "may not open until late 2021 after problems completing stations and testing signalling systems. Trains were originally due to carry passengers on the line from December 2018."

Another article in The Times says that a survey by polling company YouGov has found that 70 per cent of Edinburgh residents "want to make everyday journeys using public transport". It says the results of the survey have "prompted calls to halt the construction of new roads and make improvements to tram, train and bus networks".

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