Osborne expected to give green light to HS3

Osborne expected to give green light to HS3

George Osborne is expected to give the green light to major rail developments in Yorkshire and London in his latest budget.

The chancellor is expected to confirm government backing for the HS3 high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds.

In a £300m package to boost transport links in his cherished "Northern Powerhouse", Osborne is expected to commit the government to taking forward HS3 between Manchester and Leeds, with £60m to cut journey times to 30 minutes from their current 49. 

He will also announce £75m to develop plans for a trans-Pennine tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester and explore options for improvements to the M60 ring-road around Manchester as well as the A66 and A69 coast-to-coast trunk roads further north.

Osborne said his decisions would drive forward the UK's largest investment in rail infrastructure since the Victorian era.

"With the difficulties we see in the global economy, we've got to make Britain fit for the future," said the chancellor.

"Now is the time us to make the bold decisions and the big investments that will help us to lead the world in infrastructure, and create jobs, push up living standards and boost our productivity for the next generation.

"That's what my budget this week sets out to do."

A full blueprint for HS3 will be drawn up by next year.