The North of England’s political and business leaders have announced will meet in Leeds next week to discuss how Transport for the North will continue in a new structure following funding cuts and changes to the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme.
The TfN Board meeting will look at the prioritisation of its activities after the Department for Transport confirmed a £6.5m core budget for FY 2022/23 against TfN’s funding ‘ask’ of £10m. The meeting will also consider TfN’s role as co-sponsor on NPR, as first indicated in last November’s Integrated Rail Plan.
Members, who are representatives of the region’s 20 Local Transport Authorities and 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships, will be asked to approve an interim budget and business plan covering the first quarter of the new financial year. Priorities for the year ahead include taking forward work to update the North’s Independent Economic Review and the revision of the Strategic Transport Plan.
The report also highlights the continuation of TfN’s statutory responsibilities, and that the organisational outcomes being used as the basis for business planning are:
- Transformed economic performance
- Improved productivity
- Enhanced inclusivity, health, and access to opportunities for all
- Better quality of life
A separate item on the agenda covering the co-sponsorship arrangements for NPR, sets out how TfN has a key role in ensuring the North’s voice shapes delivery of the IRP.
The arrangements mean that TfN will continue to provide strategic advice and direction to the programme in line with its core statutory function, and will also sit with DfT on a new joint-sponsor board to monitor, advise and comment on objectives and progress, and engage with key stakeholders and regional partners.
Also on the agenda are:
- Approval of the TfN Freight & Logistics Strategy
- The scope and objectives for a Northern Digital Mobility Strategy to aid joined-up approaches to digital and ticketing innovation
- Update from the Rail North Committee on rail reform, the Manchester Rail Blueprint, and operational updates
- Work to date on the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure evidence base to help shape a framework for the region’s charging infrastructure requirements
(Picture – Transport for the North)