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Rochdale’s £11.5m transport interchange to open

Rochdale’s £11.5m transport interchange opens its doors to the public later. Transport for Greater Manchester say it will provide enhanced levels of facilities and improved safety and security for bus passengers and will link directly with the new Metrolink extension.

I am delighted that we have completed this innovative and hugely significant project that will provide a fantastic, modern gateway for the town centre and a European first, thanks to its hydropower plant.

The interchange will provide better links between rail and bus services as well as improved waiting areas, passenger facilities, accessibility, information, safety and security.

The facility is also going to play a crucial part in making Rochdale an exciting destination for residents, shoppers and businesses alike.”

– Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee

Manchester and Liverpool among the UK's Most Congested Cities

Stuck in traffic Credit: PA

Motorists in Manchester and Liverpool have to put up with some of the worst traffic jams in the country.

A new study puts both cities in the top ten of most congested places.

It claims drivers in Manchester suffer more than 30 minutes of rush hour delays each day.

In Liverpool, motorists sit in traffic jams for an average of 23 minutes.

Manchester was seventh in the league table and Liverpool was placed tenth.

The worst place for traffic congestion was Bristol. London was placed fifth in the rankings.

The research was conducted by sat nav company Tom Tom which said it has studied "trillions" of journeys across the world since 2007.

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'Generous compensation' promised for HS2

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin speaking to the House of Commons

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that those who need to sell their house but struggle because of the HS2 plans will still be helped and that he wants the line, "to create jobs and prosperity not to harm it."

"I understand how proposals like this can affect the property markets so compensation will be as generous as on the first phase, and more generous then when we built the motorways."

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Transport Secretary: 'HS2 benefits will spread beyond route'

Transport Secretary says that the HS2 will be first main line north of London for nearly 120 years.

Patrick McLoughlin has told the House of Commons that it is not just about faster trains to London - but about how our greatest cities are linked.

Mr McLoughlin said he is determined that HS2 benefits will be spread much wider than just those places served by the line.

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David Cameron on HS2: This is going to happen

David Cameron was resolute when asked about Tory opposition to the HS2 project: "This is going to happen. I have been a strong supporter right from the start." The Prime Minister continued:

These are difficult economic times, but I think that is precisely the time you should be planning for the future, working out how we link up the cities of our country, how we reduce journey times, how we spread wealth and prosperity around the country.

We do need to rebalance the economy, it has been too dominated by the South and by certain industries and high speed rail will really help to create a better balanced economy.

– Prime Minister David Cameron
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Network Rail: HS2 a 'game-changer' for rail travel

Unprecedented growth in the last ten years has seen passenger journeys grow by 50 per cent to almost 1.5bn a year and that number is set to continue to grow. More people use the railways today than at any time since the Second World War, on a network half the size it was then ...

This is a rare chance to stop playing catch-up on capacity.

– David Higgins, chief executive, network rail

He added that Network Rail was already planning to ensure that HS2 would integrate with the existing network with as little disruption as possible.

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Manchester Airport Group welcomes HS2 'boost'

The chief executive of Manchester Airport owner MAG, Charlie Cornish, has welcomed the news that the HS2 route will stop off at the airport.

Manchester Airport will become a more viable alternative to Heathrow under the HS2 plans, campaigners say Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

"Along with the city centre station, it will provide an additional boost to the economy of the region.”

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Osborne: Economic case for HS2 'pretty compelling'

Chancellor George Osborne said HS2 will be an "engine for growth" in the North and Midlands, and will create tens of thousands of jobs.

He acknowledged that communities along its route would face a "very difficult" disruption to their lives, but said the economic benefits were "pretty compelling". He told BBC Breakfast:

I think it is the engine for growth in the North and the Midlands of this country. I think it is going to create tens of thousands of jobs in Manchester and across our great cities.

In the end, as a country, you have got to make those long-term choices. If our predecessors hadn't decided to build the railways in the Victorian times or the motorways in the middle part of the 20th century, then we wouldn't have those things today.

– Chancellor George Osborne
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