Transport for the North set out £70 billion blueprint to transform the North’s economy

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Transport for the North has today set out an ambitious vision for the future of the North’s economy, unveiling 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. The STP outlines how up to £70 billion of investment to 2050 could contribute towards an additional £100 billion in economic growth for the North’s economy - creating 850,000 extra jobs.

Jessica Bowles, Director of Strategy at Bruntwood, said: “Transport for the North has delivered a bold and transformational blueprint to create a better connected, more productive North over the coming decades

“The £70bn investment plan, which TfN says is the equivalent to an extra investment of just £50 per person in the North, per year, would be a catalyst for further investment and growth across Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds to the Noth East, unlocking a £100bn increase in economic activity and creating 850,000 new jobs.”

Jessica added: “Bruntwood and our partners in the Northern Powerhouse Partnership have been saying for a long time that if the Government is serious about rebalancing the economy and unlocking the economic potential of the North, there must be a commitment to creating the transport infrastructure that we need to connect people to jobs, training and skills.

“The Strategic Transport Plan and Investment Programme set out by TfN are hugely important and I hope the Department for Transport will support them in due course.”

The STP and Investment Programme mark the first time the North’s civic and business leaders have spoken with one voice on behalf of the North’s 15 million people, laying out a new pipeline of transport interventions.

What happens next?

The next stage is for the plans to be considered by Transport for the North’s Board, who will meet on Thursday 7 February in Chester. The Board is a true partnership between the public and private sector, made up of civic leaders – including council leaders and metro mayors – representing 20 Local Transport Authorities alongside the business community.

Subject to approval the plans will be officially launched by Transport for the North on Monday 11 February 2019 in Sheffield at Transport for the North’s Inaugural Conference.

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

Barry White, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said:

“The Strategic Transport Plan is a hugely important document for the North. It is our vision for a prosperous pan-Northern future and outlines how investment in transport could transform our economy.

“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 £100billion 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.”

Northern Powerhouse Partnership Director Henri Murison:

“The Strategic Transport Plan is a welcome first step to the investment of up to £120bn to truly deliver the transformational impact on the Northern Powerhouse economy that we so badly need.

“Lining up all the North’s airports to deliver the inward investment we will need in a post-Brexit world, with Manchester Airport giving connectivity equivalent to what Heathrow offers today, and connecting our ports to ensure freight moves as efficiently as possible, are significant priorities; the plan sets out the local improvements needed to make these a reality.

“We now must ensure that Northern Powerhouse Rail – the jewel in the crown of Northern infrastructure improvements – is given the green light, and that HS2 is brought to Leeds and Manchester. These major projects are not simply about cutting journey times, increasing frequency or enhancing capacity. They will create the opportunities our young people need to secure the skilled jobs of the future needed to transform our economy and eradicate the North-South divide.”

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton and Co-chair of the Northern Powerhouse APPG:

“Northern Powerhouse MPs last year called on the Treasury to inject substantially more money into Northern transport improvements, and I am delighted that the Transport for the North Strategic Transport Plan goes a long way to demonstrating the specific improvements needed in the key growth corridors which will unlock higher-paid employment opportunities, such as bringing together advanced manufacturing clusters so they can compete globally. 

“Delivering this plan in full, alongside devolved transport investment for cities and their wider economic regions, will connect the Northern Powerhouse east to west from the coasts, rural areas and towns to our airports and cities. This will create jobs, investment and economic growth and to attract both overseas and UK companies to set up facilities in the North.

“I look forward to working closely with my Parliamentary colleagues from all sides, our civic leaders and businesses of all sizes to create a world-class transport network in the North of England capable of realising the ambitions of our 15 million people.”

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