Transport for the North calls for a commitment to an Economic Recovery Plan to rebuild and transform the region as it sets out a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline of essential road and rail projects.
The North’s political and business leaders are today calling on the Government for rapid transport investment that will help rebuild and transform the North of England’s economy post-COVID-19 and lay the foundations for sustainable future growth.
From changing ticketing on public transport and launching low carbon pilot schemes, to speeding up delivery of shorter-term road and rail improvements, and accelerating Northern Powerhouse Rail, Transport for the North has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP setting out 13 key areas that will help rebuild and transform the North.
The letter highlights the need for commitment to “quick win” road and rail schemes that could be underway by later this year, the need to invest in high speed rural broadband alongside transport investment, plus committing to sustained investment in active travel and other initiatives which need to be progressed at pace to combat the economic shockwave from the global pandemic.
These projects will make up an Economic Recovery Plan for the region, centred on principles agreed by the North’s leaders including the need to reflect the challenges of COVID-19; accelerate job-creating schemes to give industry confidence; better integrate local transport through more devolution; and decarbonise the future of transport.
Transport for the North’s Economic Recovery Plan builds on its existing Strategic Transport Plan and Northern Infrastructure Pipeline – a 30-year blueprint for investment in infrastructure to transform the North’s economy.
Barry White, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said:
“COVID-19 has had a profound effect on our people, businesses and economy and it’s essential that we take action to support their recovery by investing in our region now, and over the coming months and years.
“Through a sustained Northern Infrastructure Pipeline of transport schemes we can provide immediate confidence and set the North on the path to future growth. That’s now more important than ever.
“The projects and initiatives we’re putting forward are an initial set of quick wins and interventions the Government that will help to rebuild and transform the North of England’s economy. Our plan puts the needs of our passengers and businesses at the top of the agenda, while recognising the critical need to make getting around greener and much more accessible for every one of the North’s 15 million people.
“We’ve always said the North cannot wait at the back of queue and that we need a clear and committed pipeline of initiatives to reverse decades of underinvestment. Our Economic Recovery Plan puts forward tangible ways in which the Government can show commitment to that levelling-up agenda.”
Following the initial bid to the Secretary of State for Transport, Transport for the North will be carrying out further detailed work on the Economic Recovery Plan, to be considered by its board of political and business leaders on 29 July.
This will be available to watch live online, with the agenda and papers published five days in advance.