In November 2014 IPPR North published Great North Plan: A prospectus for transforming the north of England. This prospectus presents the winning and commended entries to two parallel competitions, the purpose of both of which was to source ideas for future northern infrastructure investment.
- The Great North Plan competition was for people aged 25 and under. It focussed on the long term, seeking radical ideas using new or untested technology to change the way people live their lives by 2050 and beyond. The joint winners were Alexandru Buruiana, Ben Puddicombe and Edward Davies, for their various proposals on the future of roading, including solar roadways, roadside energy capture technology and electric vehicle charging stations.
- The George Stephenson Prize was for infrastructure professionals. It sought economically sound proposals for infrastructure projects that could be up and running by 2030. it was won by One North, for their integrated regional transport plan.
Entries were assessed by a judging panel of leading figures from the world of infrastructure and development. The judging criteria for both included economic benefits, social gains and environmental sustainability. The winning and commended entries to both competitions, featured in the prospectus, include:
- One North: integration transport connections across the region
- Future Roads: three entries promoting different aspects of a self-supplying system of solar roadways, roadside energy-capture devices and electric vehicle charging points
- Green Cities and Carbon-Free North: two entries emphasising the potential of the north to lead the way on embracing green and low-carbon technologies and economy
- Pennines National Park: a huge new trans-regional national park to embrace existing Northumberland, Yorkshire Dales and Peak District parks and four areas of outstanding natural beauty
- Hub airport slots: a ‘soft infrastructure’ proposal to ensure northern airports can access vital slots at hub airports like Heathrow
- Transatlantic vacuum train: a radical ‘rail’ proposal, linking Manchester and New York with a vacuum train suspended by electro-magnets in a vacuum tube
- Hyperloop: a domestic alternative, which would see the airports of the north from Liverpool to Newcastle connected by a new ‘Hyperloop’ of vacuum-suspended trains.