Transport for the North (TfN) Chief Executive Martin Tugwell will today (Monday 5 February) call for the need to do things differently when it comes to investment in the North’s connectivity.

Opening the TfN’s Annual Conference in Liverpool, he will highlight the importance of allowing the North’s political and business leaders to decide and deliver on transport needs, the need for investment in transport for people and places, how the reliance on ‘one size fits all’ for investment appraisal is holding the region back and how we must invest in new concepts and strive for better outcomes, if we are to deliver economic growth that is sustainable and inclusive for the longer term.

The blueprint for doing this is set out in TfN’s revised Strategic Transport (STP), a road map towards better connectivity for the North that would make levelling up real, reduce transport related social exclusion and create more choices in our public transport system.

The STP sets out how the people living and working in the North of England, as represented by the business and political leaders on the TfN Board, speaking with ‘one voice,’ are best placed to set out the connectivity outcomes needed to transform the North.

Martin Tugwell, Transport for the North Chief Executive, said: 

“There is a prize to transform the North up for grabs, but it requires both investment to create transformational change, and the devolution of powers to those closest to the people and places that will benefit to use them. 

“We need to change how we plan for, develop, invest, and deliver transport infrastructure and services. Further devolution offers the opportunity to remove inertia, accelerate delivery and see the benefits of investment realised sooner.”

“By bringing our region’s leaders together Transport for the North acts as the voice of for the North on transport challenges and opportunities. It has allowed us to set out a single, ambitious vision that will transform connectivity, empower our people and businesses, help tackle climate change, support economic growth; enhance accessibility; and address societal disadvantages.

“As the government’s statutory partner on strategic transport, our STP helps us make the case for investment in the North’s transport services and infrastructure. By joining up thinking and harnessing the opportunities created by devolution, we can work to close the North-South divide, unleash the North’s economic potential, and make real the levelling up agenda in a green accessible and sustainable way: with it we can transform the North to benefit people and places now, and in the future.”

Lord McLoughlin, Chair at Transport for the North, said:

“Investment in transport infrastructure and services is more important than ever if we are to realise economic opportunities now, enable more sustainable travel choices and reduce social exclusion.

“Our Strategic Transport Plan, which I look forward to handing over to the Secretary of State in the very near future, sets out how we need to do things differently if we want a different outcome, if we want to truly achieve transformation for the North’s people and places.

“We all need to be agents of change if the ambition in the Strategic Transport Plan is to be realised: by working together we can, and we will transform the North.”

TfN’s Annual Conference, which takes place today (Monday 5 February), brings together politicians and business leaders from the North, alongside industry experts and other stakeholders, to discuss key issues on transport, decarbonisation, inclusion, and economic growth.

Speakers will reiterate the need for committed long-term funding to major infrastructure projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) as originally set out by TfN, as well as highlighting the opportunities that additional investment in local bus services can bring more immediately: our Strategic Transport Plan reflects the ambition of Northern leaders to deliver for our people and places.

The fifth annual event is in partnership with The Liverpool Echo and full speaker and agenda details can be found here.