Northern transport delivery body increases influence

Transport for the North (TfN) has welcomed the passage of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act which paves the way for the organisation to become a statutory body by early 2017 to oversee the delivery of major transport infrastructure projects in the North of England.

The centralised body will bring together all local transport authorities in the North to deliver improved connections for businesses and commuters across the north. As a statutory body, the organisation will enable the north of England to draw down powers and resources from central government to deliver improvements to transport across the Northern Powerhouse region.

TfN will now come forward with specific proposals for the powers it needs. These will include:

• Powers to create a statutory northern transport strategy, setting out priorities for significant investment in the north’s inter-city road and rail network
• Powers to coordinate and prioritise a new pan-northern system of smart and integrated ticketing
• Powers to coordinate and oversee the delivery of ambitious and transformational cross-northern transport investments, by developing plans and commissioning and coordinating their delivery
• A further strengthening of governance arrangements, allowing TfN to represent all communities across the north
• Developing the role and powers of Rail North, devolving greater responsibility from government for oversight of the Northern and TransPennine rail services