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More trains for North West

Outdated trains will be replaced under Government plans Credit: ITV Granada

The number of seats on trains in the North West is to increase by a third, under Government plans to reduce overcrowding on the region’s rail network. There will also be an extra 200 services every day across the Northern and Trans Pennine rail franchises.

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, will unveil the plans today on a visit to Victoria station in Manchester, which is currently undergoing a £44 million redevelopment programme. Mr McLauglin is calling for further investment in stations from companies interested in bidding for the new franchises.

Redevelopment plans for Manchester Victoria Station Credit: Network Rail

Successful bidders will also be required to replace outdatedPacer trains on North West rail routes and accommodate more than 19,000 extra commuters in Manchester during the morning peak.

Cable announces multi million pound boost for region

Business Secretary Vince Cable Credit: PA

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced a multi- million pound boost for the North West. The minister's been visiting Manchester University as part of the Government's aim to help empower regions to manage more of their own affairs. The money will be spent on improving scientific research, transport and supporting local businesses.

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Manchester 'worst-performing' on house prices

Houses in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester Credit: PA Images

Manchester has been named as the "worst-performing" city concerning house prices, with values there showing no average increase in prices over the last year.

House prices around the UK eased back from their previous record levels in December amid signs that the housing market has continued to cool, Nationwide Building Society has reported.

Across the UK, property prices lifted by 7.2% annually in December to reach £188,559 on average, edging slightly lower than an all-time high of £189,388 recorded in November.

But despite the lack of price increase the average house price in Manchester remains higher than the national average at £210,685.

Stores braced for busiest day of the year

More than 200 thousand shoppers are expected today Credit: PA

Shoppers are expected to hit the UK high street in force as retailers hope for their most profitable day ahead of Christmas.

The high street traditionally experiences its busiest day two days before the Christmas shut down.

Bosses at the Manchester Arndale shopping centre said they expected about 220,000 visitors and customers were spending more money this Christmas.

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Osborne promises 'major new improvements' to road system

George Osborne says he will this week set out "major new improvements" to the UK's roads system.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, the Chancellor said:

It's a major improvement in our country's road system which was, frankly, neglected and we're spending much, much more money than even the previous Labour government when they were spending money like there was no tomorrow...You're going to see major new improvements on key roads, to the south-west of England, through Norfolk, up through Northumbria

– George Osborne

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Oldham development will be 'gamechanging'

Artist's impression of Oldham's redevelopment Credit: Oldham Council

Oldham Council is unveiling a new major development of Oldham town centre bringing new shops, housing and jobs to the area. Its hoped the project, called the Princes Gate, will capitalise on Metrolink’s arrival and be a way to transform and regenerate the area. Click here for an animated 3D flyover of what the development will look like when completed.

'Prince’s Gate at Oldham Mumps is all about our aspirations for our future – it is a gamechanger for the new Oldham.'

– Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader

Emergency support for North West families at risk

There's a warning that millions of pounds meant for emergency grants and essential support to help North West families in a crisis is under threat from Government cuts. The Children's Society said ministers are looking to withdraw all support from Local Welfare Assistance Schemes. These are run by local councils to help get struggling families back on their feet. Rob Jackson is from the Children's Society.

Will Greater Manchester get greater powers

It's believed the Government is planning to give more powers to councils in Greater Manchester to run their own affairs. George Osborne is thought to be preparing an announcement next week creating a new 'super council' which would make decisions on areas like transport. Ralph Blunsom looks at that and Ed Miliband's plans for devolved power in the North West

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