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  1. National

Osborne: Appoint Northern mayors 'to rival Boris'

George Osborne has said there is a 'strong case' for more elected mayors to drive growth and development in northern cities and rival London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Speaking on BBC radio 4's Today programme the Chancellor said: "I think there is a strong case for elected mayors in places like Greater Manchester to make sure they have the same powers, the same clout, as the mayor of London does in our capital.

"I think it helps to have a single individual who is, of course, democratically accountable, but also bringing together powers over planning, housing and transport."

He added he wanted to bring together cities like Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull with new transport links.

  1. National

Osborne: A closely linked North could 'take on world'

George Osborne will say a collection of northern cities linked closer together by new transport infrastructure could "take on the world" as he bids to end London's "unhealthy" economic dominance.

The Chancellor will say in a keynote speech in Manchester today:

We need an ambitious plan to make the cities and towns here in this northern belt radically more connected from east to west - to create the equivalent of travelling around a single global city.

As well as fixing the roads, that means considering a new high speed rail link.

Today I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high-speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds.

– Chancellor George Osborne


Region gets £13 million to tackle potholes

The North East and North Yorkshire have been given a £13 million potholes fund. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
Across England, the Government has given £168 million to 148 councils. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
It is hoped that three million potholes will be fixed across the country by March 2015. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

More than £13 million of Government money has been made available to fix potholes across the North East and North Yorkshire.

Nearly £8 million is being distributed to North East councils, and over £5 million is being given to North Yorkshire. In total, the Government is giving £168 million to 148 councils in England. They are hoping to fix three million potholes by March 2015.

Older Northumberland students to lose free transport

Northumberland County Councillors today (May 29) agreed to end free transport for students who are older than 16, saving £2.4m a year.

Students from low-income families and those with special needs will not be affected.

The new scheme will come into effect from 1 September. Students already in the scheme will not be affected.

The council says it will work with schools, colleges and other training providers to make sure that older students’ access to education in their own area is continuously improved.

It says it will monitor the impact of the new Post-16 policy on an on-going basis following the changes.


Northumberland road closed after level crossing failed

Police have closed a road in Belford, Northumberland, after the level crossing failed.

Officer were called at 8.45am to reports that the barriers are currently stuck in the down position.

Network Rail are at the scene repairing the barriers and have advised this may take most of the day. The road is closed from the A1 Cragmill Road towards Wareham Mill while the repairs take place. Drivers should use the B1342.

Metro staff to strike next Wednesday

Tyne and Wear Metro staff will strike next Wednesday. Credit: PA wire

Members of the RMT union have announced strike action on the Metro next Wednesday; the day of the One Direction concert at Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

DB Regio, which operates Metro stations and train say it will prioritise moving concert-goers and operate a reduced Metro service.

  1. Border

25 years since Carlisle Settle railway line was saved

The Carlisle Settle railway line was saved 25 years ago today Credit: PA

Celebrations are due to begin to mark 25 years since the Carlisle to Settle railway line was saved.

It had been threatened with closure since the early 1980s until Michael Portillo, the transport secretary at the time, saved it.

A commemorative train ride will take place later this morning.

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