A GROUP of more than 80 MPs will today send a letter to the Chancellor to make a full commitment to transport investment in the North.

While welcoming Government support in the Spring Statement to Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and an ongoing investigating into a £39bn business case submitted by Transport for the North, the MPs hope to spark a debate about what is needed to boost infrastructure.

A total of £120bn is needed by 2050 to include strategic transport schemes as well as investment in northern transport.

MPs also hope NPR is delivered along with HS2 instead of one or the other.

The letter has been prepared at the request of the co-chairs of the Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group (NP APPG).

The NP APPG is made up of Conservative and Labour MPs, Peers, business and civic leaders who have joined together to allow the North of England to speak with one voice and increase the contribution the region makes to the UK economy.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton and co-chair of the NP APPG, said: “As well as faster journey times, enhanced capacity and greater frequency, NPR would provide opportunities for our young people to secure the skilled jobs we need to drive productivity and link up the great cities of the North to stimulate economic growth.

“It is vital that NPR is delivered to the North alongside HS2, to create a high-speed network for the whole of the country and open up labour markets that are currently not accessible for young people across the North today.

“With HS2 and NPR it is not a case of either/or – we need both.”

The letter to the Chancellor will state that commitment to NPR must be part of a wider package of infrastructure to rebalance the economy and be used as a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to narrow the North-South divide.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “The first down payment we need on the overall long-term need of £120 billion for major Northern Powerhouse specific transport and city region schemes is £39 billion for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“Last week, the Chancellor committed himself to the case for the economics behind the project – which have consistently been government policy now for the almost five years since the Northern Powerhouse was first adopted.

“Business and civic leaders stand firmly behind our Parliamentarians on a cross party basis making the case for the key investment that the North needs, to grow our economy and close the North-South divide.”