North’s civic and business leaders urge government to fast-track transport investment

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The North’s political and business leaders are urging the government to speed up transport investment that will help rebuild the North of England’s economy post-pandemic.

Transport for the North has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP setting out 13 key areas that will help rebuild and transform the region and “lay the foundations for sustainable future growth.”

These include changing ticketing on public transport and launching low carbon pilot schemes, speeding up delivery of shorter-term road and rail improvements, and accelerating Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The letter also highlights the need for commitment to “quick win” road and rail schemes that could be underway by later this year.

These include investment 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 make up TfN’s ‘Economic Recovery Plan’ for the region and builds on the existing Strategic Transport Plan and Northern Infrastructure Pipeline – a 30-year blueprint for investment in infrastructure to transform the North’s economy.

Barry White, CEO 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.”

He continued: “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.”


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