With urgent investment into Northern Rail services set to be pushed by leaders in this year’s Transport for the North conference, Quadrant Transport investigates what is needed and who is driving the push.
Two of the region’s mayors are determined to push urgent and substantial investment in the northern transport system to boost economic recovery, improve inclusivity and decarbonise the services.
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will be highlighting the need for increased funding at next month’s Transport for the North Annual Conference.
Previous need for investment was already highlighted in 2019
A blueprint for how strategic investment in transport could support up to £100 billion growth in GVA and create 850,000 jobs by 2050 was already published in February 2019, in Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham told Quadrant Transport: “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.
“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.”
The annual conference will give Mayors Brabin and Burnham, alongside many of the region’s other political and business leaders, the opportunity to reiterate the need for committed funding to major infrastructure projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).
The third annual event will take place in Leeds and online on Monday 20th September
It will also highlight the wide-reaching and long-term benefits to be gained from investment in improving connectivity across the Northern Rail services.
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said: “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.”
Also speaking about the conference Martin Tugwell, Transport for the North Chief Executive, told Quadrant Transport: “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.”
“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.”
Rail North: Leeds will build on the discussions from the Transport for the North conference. If you’re interest in being a delegate at this event click here.