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TfN publishes blueprint for northern infrastructure

Transport for the North

Transport for the North (TfN) has unveiled its vision for the future, with draft proposals for northern infrastructure for the next 30 years.

The Strategic Transport Plan (STP) and the investment Programme would rebalance decades of underinvestment and transform the lives of people in the north, it said.

The STP outlines how up to £70 billion of investment to 2050 could contribute towards an additional £100bn in economic growth for the region’s economy – creating 850,000 extra jobs.

The plan makes the case to increase spending on strategic transport by around £50 per person in the north each year to 2050.

It includes flagship programmes such as Northern Powerhouse Rail; upgraded and new major roads; enhancements to the existing rail network; and the continued roll out of smart ticketing

The pan-northern vision also promotes new, low-carbon ways of travelling.

The next stage is for the plans to be considered by TfN’s board, which will meet on Thursday (February 7) in Chester.

The Board consists of civic leaders – including council leaders and metro mayors – representing 20 local transport authorities alongside the business community.

Barry White, chief executive of TfN, said: “Our investment programme outlines how an additional investment of just £50 per person in the North, per year, could play a part in unlocking a £100bn increase in economic activity and create 850,000 new jobs.

“For the people of the north, this will mean more choice over where they live and work, access to higher quality jobs and better connections to friends and families. It will mean our businesses have more opportunity to collaborate, trade and grow in a sustainable way.

“This final plan will be a statutory document written by the north, for the north, and will be our blueprint to deliver transformational change and leave a legacy for future generations.”

Subject to approval the plans will be officially launched by TfN on Monday, February 11 in Sheffield at its inaugural conference.

From February 11 onwards, the proposals will then become TfN’s statutory advice to Government on what the ongoing priorities are for enhancing sustainable and inclusive connectivity across the North.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said: “Transport for the North’s vision to improve vital transport infrastructure over the next few decades is a key milestone for the north of England, and the UK as a whole.

“The plans for better connections between the towns, cities and international gateways that will assist the north’s long-term growth reflect business priorities across the country.

“High quality and reliable infrastructure keeps the economy moving, drives growth, and has a tremendous impact on productivity. These plans will also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, bringing new opportunities to communities.

“TfN’s vision shows what can be achieved when business and local political leaders work together in the best interests of their regions.”

Penny Marshall, north east director at the Institution of Civil Engineers, added: “We welcome this plan which provides a clear, cohesive and effective strategy for using transport to support economic growth in the north of England.

"It was key for the north east that both our links, both north and south, are appropriate for a thriving region such as ours.

“In our report Delivering a Northern Infrastructure Strategy, we outlined the need for collaboration to address the transport needs of the North. 

"It is essential that Government and industry now work together to develop a clear, sustainable, long-term approach that takes account of local spatial planning, driven by population growth and changing employment patterns.

“We are also pleased to see further support for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, which will better integrate and improvements rail connectivity and capacity across the north, bringing with it regeneration opportunities. 

"We are particularly impressed with how the North East has been catered for in the plan, including the improved rail facilities from Northumberland to Darlington, and across the Tees Valley, to increase our links with the rest of the UK. This will surely be a huge win for the residents and businesses in the area.” 

The Strategic Transport Plan and investment programme can both be viewed at www.transportforthenorth.com/onenorth.



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