West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has responded to a government announcement that Transport for the North is set to get legal powers and responsibilities.
The move will make TfN the only pan-regional body and helps underpin the Northern Powerhouse project. Aswell as being granted £260m of government funding, the new sub-regional transport body is to be allocated £18m to develop a smart ticketing programme by the end of 2018.
Chairman of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Gerald Jennings, said:
“We welcome the government announcement today (Thursday 16 Nov) that Transport for the North (TfN) is to get statutory powers and duties. We also welcome the funding promise that accompanies this move. The powers being given to TfN will help re-affirm that commitment, and help to drive economic growth across the North.
“TfN will bring a more strategic approach to pan-Northern infrastructure, able to identify and prioritise those investments that will bring the greatest economic benefit. More importantly, the thinking going into these strategies will be based on strong local knowledge, rather than views from Whitehall.
“TfN will provide a coherent voice in support of Northern Powerhouse ambitions. We would want and expect great weight to be given to recommendations made by TfN from the Department for Transport and the Treasury, if there is serious intent to rebalance the UK economy.”
TfN is a partnership of 19 local authorities, business leaders and 11 local enterprise partnerships. It will develop a statutory transport strategy that will help determine the North’s objectives, which must be considered by the Transport Secretary when making national transport decisions.