Thursday, August 26, 2021

Pressure Applied by Northern Leaders for Government Commitment to Transport Links

September Conference Will Call for Investment and HS2 Continuation
Shipping News Feature

UK – The third Transport for the North Annual Conference, dedicated to advancing the commercial position of the North of England will take place in Leeds and online on Monday 20 September, and the players are already setting out their stalls to lobby for support.

The participants say the North needs urgent and substantial investment to boost economic recovery, improve inclusivity, and decarbonise its transport system, and the message will be driven home by two of the region’s most forthright Mayors ahead of the coming event.

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will be highlighting the need for increased transport funding in the region as part of the wider levelling up agenda at next month’s event, with Tracy Brabin saying:

“Better transport connections can transform our region’s prospects, giving our people and businesses the chance to explore new opportunities and achieve their ambitions, and TfN's conference will be a chance for the North to come together to discuss these matters.

“For West Yorkshire, Northern Powerhouse Rail is the key to unlocking this potential. The Government has the opportunity to bring its levelling up agenda to life by committing to NPR and HS2 in full, we really need them to step up now and meet the challenge so we can start to build the future for the generations to come.”

The two Mayors will line up with many of the region’s other political and business leaders, giving them the opportunity to reiterate the need for committed funding to major infrastructure projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), as well as highlight the wide-reaching and long-term benefits to be gained from investment in improving connectivity. Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:

”Major decisions are looming which will have a massive bearing on life in the North of England for the rest of this century. At such a crucial moment, it is important that the North comes together as one and makes the case for the investment needed to build an integrated, affordable, 21st century public transport system. This conference gives us the chance to do just that and get the voice of the North heard clearly in Whitehall.

“The country will not be levelled up until people here can benefit from public transport of the same quality, at the same cost, as London. They have had to put up with over-priced, second-class services for far too long and now deserve to see real change.”

As with Brexit, the subject of HS2 has divided many in both North and South of the country but for many of those charged with guiding the expansion and enhancement of services in the region it is considered of paramount importance. This conference will doubtless be a hotbed of, albeit potentially one sided, discussion. Martin Tugwell, Transport for the North Chief Executive, said:

“We're delighted to be holding Transport for the North’s third annual conference, setting out how our ambitious vision to boost opportunities for our region’s people and businesses can be brought to life through investment in our transport networks.

“It’s so exciting to be bringing local political and business leaders together in one room, alongside government representatives and industry experts, to discuss how we can work together under the banner of levelling up. The panel sessions will showcase the need for change and demonstrate the practical, and innovative, plans and projects that we have set out to transform connectivity and overcome the decades of underinvestment that the North has dealt with.

”Our speakers bring to the conversation a wealth of insight, experience and data, which underpin our collaborative, strategic goals and have informed the many schemes and initiatives we now need to get on and deliver with Government backing. They’ll be looking at everything from post-pandemic economic recovery and encouraging people to return to public transport, to decarbonising our transport network and our future travel needs.”

For any interested parties unable to attend the event all sessions will be broadcast live online. To find out more click HERE.