WSP has been appointed by Transport for the North (TfN) to develop and appraise their Northern Investment Programme up to 2050.
Through the Investment Programme Benefits Analysis (IPBA) project, WSP and TfN will demonstrate for the first time the added value of a long-term, fully funded multi-modal investment pipeline in the north of England.
TfN’s Investment Programme aims to provide greater certainty for local transport and highway authorities to deliver complementary investment, and give businesses in the supply chain the confidence to invest and grow, build up their skills base and collaborate across industries.
The programme of work will provide critical evidence to update the Northern Investment Programme and enable TfN to provide statutory advice to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, on strategic transport investment priorities in the North.
As such, it will support the Government’s ambition to ‘level up’ the UK’s regions through infrastructure investment and complements the newly-created Green Infrastructure Bank in Leeds.
Moreover, it will be used to inform TfN’s discussions with Government around the Highways England Road Investment Strategy (RIS2 and RIS3 Pipeline Schemes) and Network Rail Enhancements Delivery Plan.
Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director at Transport for the North, said: “Transport is not simply about getting from A to B – it is an enabler for access to jobs, homes, education and leisure; and it ensures businesses can attract staff and make the most of growth opportunities. It’s therefore vital when making a clear case to Government that we can highlight the wide-reaching benefits of our long-term infrastructure pipeline.
“The Investment Programme Benefits Analysis project is critical to understanding the economic, social and environmental benefits of our transport recommendations, going beyond simple return-on-investment calculations to showcase the real change investment will make to day-to-day life in the North. It will be the first evidence base of its kind in the UK and could act as an exemplar for other parts of the country once adopted.
“The analysis that WSP will support will allow us to provide a clear picture of the potential impact on carbon emissions, and assess our recommendations against different funding strategies – showcasing the potential to build back better and greener.”
Simeon Butterworth, Director at WSP, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to work with Transport for the North and their partners across the Northern Powerhouse to lead the benefits analysis of the Northern Investment Programme.
“The next 12 months represent an exciting opportunity for WSP to continue to work collaboratively with TfN to capture not only the traditional benefits but also the wider benefits associated with the Northern Investment Programme that focus on communities, the levelling up of the UK economy and the decarbonisation of the transport network.”
Within its Strategic Transport Plan TfN committed to the development of a Decarbonisation Pathway to 2050. Building on the commitment to develop a decarbonisation pathway to 2050, TfN has prepared a Decarbonisation Strategy for agreement, consultation and publication during 2021.
WSP announced in October a commitment to halve the carbon footprint of all designs and advice provided to clients by 2030, a first in the engineering consultancy sector.