Transport for North unveil strategic transport plan

Consultation launched by TfN on Strategic Transport Plan with rail projects forming key part

Transport for the North (TfN) has launched a 12-week statutory consultation for the revised Strategic Transport Plan.

The Transport Plan is a comprehensive document that is designed, after consultation, to shape TfN’s advice to the government regarding transport priorities for the region as a whole – Including the ambitious rail projects that are currently at various stages of development.

Within the document, TfN has outlined their priorities for improving rail connectivity. They include an increase in frequency and improving capacity. Sustainability is also a key priority for rail in the North, with the statutory body outlining that they aim to electrify the North’s rail network, amongst others.

TfN Rail Priorities

The plan also states that the North’s three major rail programmes - The Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail are all fundamental if the transformation of the regions transport network is to become a reality.

The 12-week consultation runs from Thursday 25 May to Thursday 17 August with local meetings happening across the region.

Drop-In events will also be held, both virtually and in-person. These will take place at:

  • Friday 16 June – Holiday Inn, Manchester (11am-3pm)
  • Wednesday 5 July – The Queens Hotel, Leeds (11am-3pm)
  • Friday 14 July – The Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle (11am-3pm)
  • Monday 31 July – Virtual Workshop, details on TfN website (11am-3pm)

Lord McLoughlin, Chair of Transport for the North, said: “Over the next 12 weeks we want to hear from as many people as possible as part of our consultation for the strategic transport plan, on how we should transform transport in the North. Your views, comments and feedback will help us shape the plan to deliver the outcomes needed by citizens, businesses, and places across the region.

“Our strategic transport plan will set out our advice to government on how best the North, speaking with one voice, thinks we can reach a sustainable, socially inclusive transport network for the future.

“We need to change how we plan for, develop, invest, and deliver transport infrastructure and services. The evidence in this STP shows how with sustained investment, the right policy levers and enabling behaviour change, we can truly transform the North.

Responding to the  Rail Industry North Chair, Justin Moss, said “We very much welcome the publication of this report, which is strikingly consistent with RIA’s own calls for the full delivery of the TRU, HS2 and NPR and for a rolling programme of electrification. The prediction of a growth in demand is an important reminder that investment is needed now to prepare for the future.

“The report demonstrates a clear link between investment and the delivery of desired outcomes for people in the region. With Oxford Economics data showing that for every £1 invested in the railway a further £2.50 is generated in the wider economy, RIA North stands ready to work with TfN and DfT to help make the case for this investment and provide practical support when it comes to developing and procuring major projects.

“Separately, RIA North will be making the case for improving the procurement process to make it easier and more cost-effective to ultimately bring about transformational rail upgrades.”

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