The number of passengers using rail in the north of Britain is set to soar over the next 20 years, according to a report.

The Northern Route Utilisation Strategy published by Network Raillooks at rail usage over the next decade and recommends how best to cope with extra passengers and freight.

It states 30-45% rises by 2019 could see more people a year arriving in cities like Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield at peak times.

Network Rail is proposing projects to help meet the increased demand, including the Northern Hub, which would transport 3.5 million more passengers in the north every year.

Upgrades to freight lines between Immingham, Scunthorpe and Knottingley and a rolling programme of electrification, including the Midland Mainline between Sheffield and London St Pancras International, are also projected.

Network Rail will publish a final version in May next year.