Business chief John Cridland has been named as chair of Transport for the North.
The former director-general of employers’ body the CBI will take a key role in creating the so-called Northern Powerhouse.
Transport for the North was created from local authorities and transport bodies to improve the region’s connectivity.
Chancellor George Osborne announced £200M in last week’s spending review to support the operations of the body, and delivery of a single ticket for rail, bus, metro and tram services in the region.
Osborne said: “It’s fantastic to announce someone of the calibre of John Cridland to take on the important role of chairing Transport for the North.
“He will bring huge knowledge and experience to this position and I want to say thank you to Sir Richard Leese for the great job he has done in an interim capacity. I look forward to continuing to work together to deliver our shared aim of a world-class transport system for the North.”
Cridland said: “There is much to do to improve transport capacity and links across the North, and we now have the opportunity to make this happen. I look forward to working with city leaders, minsters and all stakeholders across the North of England.”