News story: Jo Johnson: unprecedented new powers for Transport for the North are ‘crucial next step’

first_img Rail media enquiries Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Transport for the North promotional videoDuring his visit to Liverpool Lime Street, Jo Johnson met with Network Rail staff delivering major upgrades to platforms and signalling at the great Victorian station, as part of the Great North Rail Project.With work to deliver an extra platform to be completed this summer, the upgrade will enable 3 new services per hour in and out of Lime Street.Patrick Cawley, director of route sponsorship at Network Rail, said: Rail Minister attends first Transport for the North Partnership Board in Liverpool TfN now hold powers to drive forward long-term strategic transport projects and have proposals considered by government Rail Minister will also visit Liverpool Lime Street to see progress on delivering the Great North Rail Project worth well over £1 billion Jo Johnson is encouraging the north to speak with one ‘strong, unified voice’ after meeting leaders from across the region in Liverpool today (5 April 2018) to discuss the unprecedented new powers of Transport for the North (TfN).The Rail Minister called upon northern leaders to drive forward vital transport projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail after he attended the first meeting since TfN was legally established as England’s first sub-national transport body – backed by £260 million of government funding.Rail Minister Jo Johnson said: Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Between 2015 and 2020 the government will have spent over £13 billion – more than any other in history – to transform northern transport, boosting economic growth and unlocking the incredible potential of the great towns and cities of the north. Establishing Transport for the North is a crucial next step in giving the north greater influence than ever over transport investment. It is imperative that the north now speaks with a strong, unified voice to identify where we can work together to transform journeys for people. The fantastic progress on upgrades to Liverpool Lime Street, which will enable more trains every hour and direct services to Scotland, demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering the transport links the north needs. With significant new powers to drive forward transformative projects like Northern Powerhouse Rail and smart ticketing, I am confident that TfN will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of northern transport. Our major transformation of Liverpool Lime Street is a key part of the Great North Rail Project, and it will be fantastic to show Rail Minister Jo Johnson what we’ve done so far and what work is currently being delivered while the station remains open. Once complete in October this year, passengers will see completely remodelled platforms and 2 brand new platforms, increasing the total number to 10. Longer, better managed platforms will accommodate longer trains, helping provide more space and seats for passengers. This is vital ahead of the significant increase in passengers expected in the coming years. Switchboard 0300 330 3000last_img read more

US Senate passes one coronavirus aid package while working on another

first_imgThe plan also would provide $300 billion for small businesses, $50 billion in loans for cash-strapped airlines and $150 billion for loan guarantees to other distressed economic sectors.The coronavirus has infected almost 8,000 people in the United States, killing at least 145. It has pummeled financial markets and upended daily life.Health officials have advised Americans to avoid non-essential travel and large gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Time pressureRepublican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party hoped to forge a deal with the White House soon. Another Republican, Senator Richard Shelby, said it could be unveiled as soon as Wednesday evening.US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been talking to congressional leaders about the legislation, is pushing for it to be finished by early next week, a congressional aide said.With that kind of time pressure, Democrats said the best strategy would be for members of both parties in the two chambers to negotiate together with the White House. “That’s the way that’s worked the best, the quickest, the fairest in the past,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.Mindful of lingering voter anger over the 2008 bank bailout, lawmakers said any industry-specific aid should come in the form of loans that must be paid back.“I’m not in favor of just handing over billions in taxpayer dollars to the airlines or others,” Republican Senator Josh Hawley told reporters.Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said he guessed that lawmakers would, in yet another phase of action to come, need to look at state unemployment compensation systems and “make sure they are able to handle the large number of people who are losing their jobs because the government is shutting down the economy in order to contain the disease.”Mnuchin privately warned this week that unemployment could hit 20 percent if Congress does not act.The Trump administration also asked Congress for an additional $45.8 billion to shore up US government agencies responding to the outbreak.It would also give extra funds to improve airport sanitation, provide protective gear to federal agents, bolster cybersecurity protections, improve teleworking capabilities and shore up the Amtrak passenger rail service, which has seen a steep drop in ridership.House Democrats had concerns that the bill might also enable the Homeland Security Department to deport more immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to an aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Early this month, Congress approved a first $8.3 billion package to boost the medical response to the pandemic.In a step aimed at limiting the spread of the virus among the lawmakers themselves, McConnell began doubling the amount of time to vote to limit the number of members in the chamber at any one time. The US Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation on Wednesday providing billions of dollars to limit the damage from the coronavirus pandemic through free testing, paid sick leave and expanded safety-net spending.The bill, which was backed by President Donald Trump, now goes to him to be signed into law. Congress and the White House are discussing additional stimulus measures that could cost more than US$1 trillion.Lawmakers in the Republican-led Senate largely set aside their ideological divisions, passing the legislation by a bipartisan vote of 90-8, with all “no” votes coming from Republicans. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives also passed the bill by an overwhelming bipartisan margin last Saturday. Topics :center_img The exact cost has not been tallied, but the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the sick leave and family leave provisions alone would cost $105 billion.Lawmakers are simultaneously trying to craft another emergency package that could cost $1.3 trillion – far more than the mammoth recession-fighting packages that Congress passed in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis.That package could include two rounds of direct payments to Americans, totaling $250 billion each, according to a Treasury Department proposal seen by Reuters.Trump suggested on Tuesday those checks could amount to up to $1,000 each. Payments would be tiered based on income and family size. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said expanded unemployment benefits would provide more of an impact.last_img read more

Watch an Audi RS3 with 4 Formula E electric motors make the

As we reported a few months back, Schaeffler has built a crazy new all-electric vehicle by adding a battery pack and 4 Formula E electric motors to an Audi RS3 in order to create an 880 kW all-electric racing car.They have now let German race driver Daniel Abt drive the machine and make ‘the hottest donut ever’. more… Source: Charge Forward