A £589 funding package for transport in the North has been welcomed despite fears passengers will still be facing delays unless further investment is made to the region's railway.

The funding will pay for upgrades to the Trans-Pennine line, allowing an all-electric service between Manchester, Leeds, York and Newcastle and doubling the number of tracks from two to four along the most congested section of the route.

The North East Chamber of Commerce has called for further investment to address capacity issues on the East Coast Main Line.

Policy advisor Marianne O'Sullivan said: "Today’s Department for Transport plans are welcome funding for the Trans-Pennine route but a missed opportunity to address East Coast Main Line’s lack of capacity.

"The North-East is facing historical under-investment in its transport links and urgently needs investment as part of the economic recovery process.

“We appreciate £589 million has been announced for upgrades of the Trans-Pennine line, the most congested section of this route will be doubled from two to four tracks creating more reliable East-West rail connections for the North.

"However, passengers will still be facing delays on the northern section of the East Coast Main Line. There also needs to be capacity upgrades to this route to improve journeys to Yorkshire, the North West, the Midlands and London."

A new Northern Transport Acceleration Council, which meets for the first time in September, is being set up to give North-East mayors and political leaders direct contact with ministers and the Department for Transport.

Barry White, chief executive of Transport for the North, said he would work with the council to promote speedier investment in the region.

He said: "This is a major step forward and we also welcome the commitment to develop proposals to fully the electrify the line – something that we asked Government to consider.

"We will continue to make the case for the further substantial investment needed to fully deliver this crucial project."

Mick Lynch, senior assistant general secretary of rail union RMT said: “Investment to upgrade the railways in the North of England is welcome but long overdue.

“This investment should also not be a one off but part of a national strategy for a mass investment in our railways to kick-start a green recovery from coronavirus to increase frequency, capacity, reliability and connectivity on both passenger and freight services.”