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05.03.19

Transport and Connectivity at EvoNorth 2019

Under the banner of the Northern Powerhouse, transport has been one of the most prevalent themes in advancing the businesses and people who live and operate inside the region. Following the grand announcement of the £70bn transport masterplan in January, the topic of conversation at EvoNorth 2019 was no different: hosting some of the biggest and brightest minds in rail, we look deeper into some of the highlights from our two-day event in Manchester.

Network Rail ‘not waiting around’ on Williams Review

The upcoming Williams Review into the structure and operations of the rail system will be highly anticipated by Network Rail, the company’s director of North of England Rail said.

However, Network Rail will not be waiting for the outcomes of the review: Anna-Jane Hunter said Network Rail is already planning its restructuring ahead of the review with a key focus to put the customer focus.

Transport for the North’s roads director, Peter Molyneux, echoed this sentiment, but noted that there must be a more consistent funding formula for projects, particularly in the North. Molyneux added there has always been an issue with “boom or bust” funding for rail projects in the north.

HS2 to stand firm on Phase 2 going ahead

HS2 Ltd’s director of sponsorship and policy Lorna Pimlott has reaffirmed the belief that Phase 2 of HS2 will still go ahead despite weeks of uncertainty, arguing that Phase 2 has received “all-party support.”

Earlier last month, it was found that land acquisition from HS2 could spiral five times higher than the projected cost.

Uber’s outstanding work in connecting cities

Uber’s head of cities in the north of England James Kelly discussed the benefits of working collaboratively on public transport:

Kelly noted that the London night tube being introduced actually led to an increase in the use of Uber cars and e-bikes – creating major changes of people selecting public transport and shared ways of commuting around the city, without the need to increase the number of cars on the road.

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