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Rail recommendations due in spring for north’s Strategic Transport Plan

Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) major rail and roads reports are due to be published in late spring, and will inform its work to create England’s first pan-regional Strategic Transport Plan that will seek to unify local authorities in dealing with the north’s transport challenges.

Central to TfN’s plan, that will last up to 2050 when it is completed, is the need for bringing together transport authorities across the north by creating one strategic transport authority rather than allowing individual local authorities to tackle problems by themselves.

The plan is expected to boost the north’s economic growth by creating close to a million new jobs and injecting a further £97bn into the UK’s economy.

An initial draft of the plan will be released in autumn and will be informed by TfN’s the major rail and roads reports that are due to be published in late spring.

Research is currently being compiled by TfN to develop proposals for the Northern Powerhouse Rail network that would improve east-west connectivity by linking together six of the north’s major cities with quicker, more frequent rail connections, and also work with Network Rail to work on improvements for the current northern train connections.

This news comes shortly after Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, called for further powers and budgets to be devolved to regional transportation authorities.

Speaking about the Strategic Transport Plan, David Brown, chief executive of TfN, said: “I welcome Greg Clark’s recent comments about greater powers and investment in relation to infrastructure, both of which will be key elements in making our Strategic Transport Plan for the North perform at its best.

“Until now we have been largely working behind the scenes, gathering evidence and working with our partners to identify what needs to be done to create a plan for the north capable of delivering transformational change.”

Brown also emphasised the need for strengthening links between the north’s rail links and realising the opportunities of international trade and travel, saying that there is a “collective will” in Parliament and the north to make the change happen.

He added: “Local transport authorities will still have their autonomy. We are not there to trample on their territory, quite the opposite; we are there to identify where there is added value and simply join the dots.”

The plan would be the first of its kind in the UK and is another step forward for TfN as they look for greater devolved powers to the north and a more unified approach to tackling the region’s transportation challenges.

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Lutz   23/02/2017 at 21:49

Looking forward to seeing the details so that we can see how sound the analysis is. I hope they are not expecting southerners to pay for this.

Allan Williams   14/04/2017 at 10:40

Great post!

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