“Businesses have seen many proposals for better links between Northern cities over the years. The prospect of a high-speed east-west rail link across the North is a good start if it materialises, but we would like to see more thought given towards connecting all the core cities in the north, not just Manchester and Leeds.

“While the Chancellor’s ambition for a Northern ‘HS3’ is positive, the government must focus on getting HS2 on the statute books and into construction first, and on vital road and rail improvements throughout the UK. Businesses like this sort of ambitious thinking, but will be far more impressed if the government’s existing list of infrastructure commitments are delivered.”