Mayor of Manchester Andy Burham and his Liverpool counterpart, Steve Rotherham, have teamed up wth Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake in an attempt to ensure the areas of the country are not neglected after the UK leaves the European Union. The trio, who’s communities cover 15 million people in England - more than a quarter of the country’s total population - will kickstart plans today when they meet at the Transport for the North inaugural conference in Sheffield. They will launch the Strategic Transport Plan agreed last week, which sets out a £70bn investment programme over the next 30 years which the leaders claim could “unlock £100bn in economic growth and create one million jobs”.
The first step should be to adopt these modest proposals as a show of goodwill by Westminster leaders that northern communities will not continue to be overlooked during the Brexit process, as has sadly been the case so far
It outlines a strategy to increase spending on strategic transport by around £50 per person in northern England each year to 2050.
Further plans include upgrading and building major new roads, improvements to the existing rail network, and the continued roll-out of smart ticketing.
Former shadow home secretary Mr Burnham attacked Westminster for so far overlooking northern communities during the Brexit process.
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Brexit news: Andy Burnham accused Westminster of overlooking northern communities (Image: GETTY)
He said: "The first step should be to adopt these modest proposals as a show of goodwill by Westminster leaders that northern communities will not continue to be overlooked during the Brexit process, as has sadly been the case so far."
Mr Rotherham, who was previously Lord Mayor of Liverpool, accused Westminster leaders of concentrating too much on the impacts Brexit could have on London.
He said: "For too long power and opportunity have been concentrated in the south at the expense of the north and there is a real