Transport for the North (TfN) has set out how it will develop both a major road network for the region and an integrated rail plan that includes Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The sub-regional transport body has today (Monday 19 June) published the evidence that will inform its Strategic Transport Plan, which is due in the autumn.
It said the plan could help create nearly a million new jobs and add almost £100bn to the UK’s economy.
Outgoing chief executive David Brown said: ‘TfN has a clear mission to transform the North’s economy by intelligently developing our transport infrastructure.
‘The publication of this evidence is a pre-cursor to our multi-modal Strategic Transport Plan, which will be published for consultation later this year. The work presents a compelling case for change, underlining the economic and strategic benefits of improving freight and passenger transport across the whole of the North to drive economic growth. ‘
New documents published today include a ‘Position Statement’ and two documents that TfN had said would be published in the spring – an initial Major Roads Report and an initial Integrated Rail Report.
The reports identify nine strategic development corridors, which include Northern Powerhouse Rail, Integrated and Smart Travel, and seven geographic connectivity priorities that reflect the economic links across the North.
The corridors will also be used to inform the development of the upcoming Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) programme with Highways England and the Control Period 6 (CP6) programme with Network Rail.
The seven geographic corridors are:
- Connecting the Energy Coasts (the North West and North East coastlines)
- Central Pennines
- Southern Pennines
- West and Wales
- East Coast Corridor to Scotland
- West Coast to Sheffield City Region
- Yorkshire to Scotland, complementing the East Coast Corridor to Scotland
TfN said its position statement aligns the plan with economic and transport plans at both a regional and national level. The plan will be used to inform the agendas of the Department for Transport, Highways England and Network Rail with regional intelligence.
It added that the initial Major Roads Report ‘introduces the concept of a Major Road Network for the North which incorporates the Strategic Road Network, plus other major pan-Northern routes that connect the North’s important economic centres.’
This builds on the work of David Quarmby and Phil Carey in their groundbreaking study - A Major Road Network for England.
‘Similarly, the Initial Integrated Rail Report identifies strategic improvements needed to rail services and infrastructure across the North to enable easier commuting, better business links and greater international connectivity,' the document states.
‘Building on this work, the organisation will develop an integrated rail plan by the end of 2017 that will incorporate development work on the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail network and research from TfN’s sister organisation Rail North. ‘