Transport for the North’s Chief Executive is calling for more devolution and new approach to funding for his region, that recognises “that local leaders are best placed to shape the future of connectivity in a way that creates opportunities for people and businesses”.
Opening the TfN’s Annual Conference in Leeds, Martin Tugwell is highlighting what he says is the importance of allowing the North’s political and business leaders to decide and deliver on transport needs.
The blueprint for doing this is set out in TfN’s Northern Transport Charter (NTC), a road map towards further devolution and funding control that would make levelling up real. These proposals are grouped around four key ambitions:
- Championing an inclusive and sustainable North
- A long-term Northern funding settlement (Northern Budget)
- Leading strategic transport delivery
- Putting rail passengers first
The Charter 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 know what is in the long-term interests of the region.
“There is a prize of building a New North up for grabs, but it requires both investment to create transformational change, and the devolution of powers to those best placed to use them,” Tugwell says. “By bringing our region’s leaders together Transport for the North acts as the voice of our region 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.
“Our Northern Transport Charter sets out how the investment made in TfN can be used to provide leadership and to determine what is best for our region .
“With further devolution and control over investment and policy decisions, 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 build a truly new north of England to the benefit of generations to come.”
(Picture – TfN)