Written statement to Parliament

The Northern transport strategy: first annual update

First annual update on the Northern transport strategy.

Andrew Jones MP

Today (7 March 2016), jointly with Transport for the North (TfN), we are publishing the first annual update report on development of the Northern transport strategy.

The report sets out progress across the full range of the transport strategy, covering roads, rail, smart and integrated travel, freight, international and strategic local connectivity including:

  • the emerging options for the Northern Powerhouse rail network linking the north’s major city regions
  • an implementation plan for Smart North – the programme to deliver simplified fares, integrated ticketing and improved online passenger information across all the north’s public transport
  • findings from the ongoing roads strategic studies in the north; the north Trans-Pennine routes (A66/A69), the Manchester north west quadrant (M60) studies, and the Trans-Pennine tunnel study into the options for a new all-weather link between Greater Manchester and Sheffield City region, including a new tunnel under the Peak District National Park

The report also summarises the initial findings of the Northern Powerhouse independent economic review, commissioned by TfN, and sets out TfN’s aim to become the first statutory sub-national transport body to be established under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, so that the north of England can speak to government with one voice on its transport priorities.

Preparation of the report has been led by TfN, working closely with the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Highways England, HS2 Ltd and the National Infrastructure Commission.

This report marks the achievements of TfN in its first year, towards investing in transport to transform economic growth in the north, and rebalance the UK economy. The Northern Powerhouse can’t be built over-night, it’s a long-term plan to which this government is fully committed.

Published 7 March 2016