NPR boss backs £37m NPR Budget pledge: ‘What we asked for is what we’ve got’

The director of Northern Powerhouse Rail has supported the government’s commitment to NPR, arguing that the Budget funding announcement shows Westminster’s confidence in the scheme.

Tim Wood, NPR director at TfN, said the UK is currently running “like a plane with one engine,” and further investment into HS2 can unlock the potential of the northern regions, boosting the economy.

Last week in the Budget, chancellor Philip Hammond announced he would be pledging £37m to the NPR fund as part of the government’s agenda to give “power back to the people, and fire up the Northern Powerhouse.”

Speaking to delegates at the HS2 Economic Growth Conference in Solihull yesterday, Wood said: “I think what’s really important to remember is in the last budget Northern Powerhouse Rail was given £60m over four years. This year, we were given £37m for the year ahead. So, we can really see the programme growing. What we asked for, and what we got, is exactly the same.

“And what that says to me, is the government has confidence with what we’re doing, and how we’re going forward. It is not going to be the older days of ‘let’s do it and let’s hope it will all work out.’

“This is really well-thought out; it’s all evidence-based, and that is a really important thing to take in.”

Some raised concerns about the longevity of the funding, including chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission Phil Graham:

Wood noted that the combination of sustained funding to both HS2 and NPR is “vital.”

He said: “They are vital, and we need to build them together. We will be in a real pickle if we don’t have HS2. HS2 gives the north and Northern Powerhouse connectivity.

“The trains are purely an enabler—an enabler that brings large amounts of people across the country. It allows us to say to businesses in the south ‘come up to the north, come and establish yourselves here.’ ‘European businesses, come and establish yourselves in the north.’ We have a workplace, that’s ready and able to work.”

“We cannot have a northern economy carry on the way we are. This country is a plane running on one engine, and that engine is the south east engine. HS2 and NPR, joining the six major cities together, and also key economic centre of the north, will actually rebalance the economy of the north.”

Tim Wood was a keynote speaker at TransCityRail 2018. Click here to attend TransCityRail North 2019.

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

25/03/2019ScotRail submits £18m improvement plan in response to government improvement notice

Under-fire train operator ScotRail has unveiled an £18m remedial plan to recruit more staff and bring in additional high-speed trains in re... more >
Major redevelopment plans for Edinburgh Waverley station unveiled

25/03/2019Major redevelopment plans for Edinburgh Waverley station unveiled

Network Rail has launched a consultation on a multi-million long-term redevelopment plan for Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. With annual... more >
Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

25/03/2019Failings found as passengers on stranded train walk on live track in ‘potentially lethal’ incident, RAIB says

Dozens of passengers left “increasingly uncomfortable” on a stranded train at Lewisham left their train and walked along icy tracks s... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influence over the award of the region’s main rail franchise. Working with the Department for Transpo... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >