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Next steps for the North's £70bn transport plan

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Transport for the North’s (TfN) senior strategy officer has laid out the next steps for its £70bn transport plan after industry leaders gave it the green light.

Speaking to New Civil Engineer, TfN senior strategy officer Robin Miller-Stott said the plan would now be submitted to government. The “ambitious but realistic” strategic transport plan (STP) and investment programme was published at the end of January and rubber stamped by TfN’s board at the end of last week.

The plan will form statutory advice to government on transport matters in the North.

Although there is no formal process for the government to respond to the plan, Miller-Stott said that schemes taken forward in Network Rail’s next control period would reflect its thoughts on the plan.

“It’s great that we’ve got [funding for] the two initial schemes; the York outer ring road dualling and the Grizebeck Bypass [in Cumbria], but we now need to get funding for the rest,” he said.

Work is to be sequenced so that different schemes in the same locations do not coincide, reducing disruption to the public and ensuring the local construction industry is not overloaded.

“We have to recognise that big projects like Hinkley and High Speed 2 will take skills in the supply chain, so we need to have to look at how it peaks and how [our strategy] is delivered over the next 30 years,” he said. “We don’t want everything delivered in 2027. I think that would be wholly unachievable.

“That’s why we need a sequenced, well balanced programme that delivers where the economic benefits are needed at a certain time.”

Analysis carried out by TfN on the viability of transport schemes is also being shared with Highways England and Network Rail to allow a more informed choice on which projects should go forward.

Ultimately he said TfN is looking to move to “devolution plus” where it would get a “multimodal pot of money” from which it could choose which projects to fund. 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It's a bit sad that the only schemes that have the green light are both highway schemes.

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