Transport for the North (TfN) is working to identify new strategic development corridors on the road and rail network as the basis for 'pan-Northern transport interventions'.
The sub-national transport body has published an update report setting out its progress on transport planning for the North and next steps, as it prepares for statutory status later this year.
TfN Chair John Cridland and CEO David Brown
The document also maps the development timeline for TfN’s Strategic Transport Plan for the North, which is now due to be published in draft form in the Autumn.
TfN chair John Cridland said the update report provides ‘a glimpse at an exciting year ahead’.
He said: ‘The backbone of our work over the last twelve months and going forward is the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review – a fundamental look at the capabilities which, if supported by the right investment, can provide the foundations for closing the North/South productivity gap, generating new jobs and enhancing the North’s global competitiveness.
‘This case for transformational investment has been strengthened following the publication of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper which sets out ideas to bolster the region’s productivity in line with its specific strengths.’
The update documents discloses that in the second quarter of 2017/18, TfN will: ‘Commence work on a programme of new strategic development corridors for pan-Northern transport interventions, with the intention of developing a strategic outline business case for each, that will benefit passengers and freight.'
A parallel exercise will look at strategic development corridors on the rail network.
Initial high-level work is taking place to examine the priority corridors that link the centres of economic growth identified in the economic review and consider what connectivity improvements are required.
In the spring TfN will publish both an initial integrated rail report and an initial major roads report. Both are key to the development of the strategic transport plan and will be updated for that document, ‘following initial engagement on the evidence gathered to date’.