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Transport should be central to levelling up plans for the North

Words: Laura Edgar
The north of England / iStock-157336374

Transport for the North has set out the 'essential' role transport has in levelling up the north of England and building a green recovery from Covid-19 in its 2021/22 Business Plan.

Members of Transport for the North, which include business and civic leaders, have put together a plan for strategic investment in transport that seeks to support sustainable and inclusive growth to aid recovery from the pandemic.

The business plan has four key aims, which Transport for the North say embody the Northern Transport Charter:

  • Put passengers at the heart of the railways.
  • Lead Northern strategic scheme planning and delivery.
  • Manage a long-term Northern funding settlement.
  • Champion an inclusive and sustainable North.

It sets out the importance of decarbonising transport and making sure it is accessible; supporting the freight and logistics sector; and delivering an adaptable and resilient network.

Tim Wood, acting chief executive at Transport for the North, said the pandemic has highlighted how important it is that the transport network is invested it.

“As we look to the year ahead and beyond, our transport needs will continue to change, but one thing remains – we must have continued investment in road, rail, and active and smart travel schemes to support the people and businesses of the North in achieving their ambitions."

The plan is "bold and ambitious", he explained, and it will lay the foundations for a transport network that meets the North’s needs now and in the future.

“In the next 12 months we will be pushing ahead at pace with our vital work, including the strategic outline case for Northern Powerhouse Rail, our decarbonisation and freight strategies, and further analysis on the benefits of our investment programme.

“Now is not the time to scale back support for our region, and we look forward to working with our leaders and government to realise our vision for the north of England – where modern transport connections drive sustainable economic growth and support an excellent quality of life.”

The 2021/22 Business Plan can be found on the Transport for the North website.

Image credit | iStock