State of the Nation 2013: North West

North West England is the third most populous UK region outside London. The volume of traffic using our major roads has increased above the national average, creating challenges for the development of transport infrastructure as an agent of economic growth and social prosperity.

North West England is the third most populous UK region outside London, with 87% of its communities living in urban areas.In the past decade, the volume of traffic using our major roads has increased above the national average. This type of growth has created specific challenges for the development of transport infrastructure as an agent of economic growth and social prosperity.

The region is currently benefiting from a range of important civil engineering led projects which will aim to deliver these objectives: the new Mersey Gateway river crossing; the Northern Hub rail project; Manchester Metrolink extensions and the Pennine Reach Bus Scheme. ICE North West believes the current range of transport infrastructure projects will play a key role in developing the economic competitiveness and social prosperity of our region.

Behind the headline new schemes there is an imperative to ensure our infrastructure is properly maintained. Road maintenance is increasingly undertaken on a ‘patch and mend’ basis as budgets are tightened. ICE North West also believes that more robust demand management is required to address current and future congestion problems on our roads. When the economy picks up again, the North West’s roads will inevitably become even busier, with congestion adding to business costs and increasing pollution.

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