Is this transport investment plan enough to transform the North?
Transport for the North has launched its draft Strategic Transport Plan today (16 January) which sets out a vision to boost the North of England’s economy through a 30-year transport investment programme.
We welcome the announcement but need to be convinced that the plan will be able to deliver its aim of closing the economic gap between the North and the rest of England by 2050.
Transport for the North – a partnership of elected leaders, public bodies and industry – has a bold vision to improve the rail and road networks in key areas, which they say will help deliver growth and prosperity in the region.
“Any announcement about plans to invest in transport infrastructure is good news,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. “But as always, the devil is in the detail.
“Will the proposed funding model go far enough to stimulate the growth needed to bridge this historical gap?
“An extra £700-900 million a year investment might sound like a lot, but we still don’t know what the changes to the road network to accommodate future generations of vehicles is going to cost. So we need to understand how robust this plan will be against competing demands for funding.”
Transport for the North is launching a public consultation on the draft plan which runs until 17 April. A final version of the plan will be published later in the year and submitted to the Government for ministerial consideration.