Transport for the North (TfN) has announced its fourth Annual Conference will take place on Monday 6th March in Newcastle. Northern leaders will gather under a theme how we can best ‘Transform the North’ to deliver transformational change in the public transport system and leave a legacy for future generations.
The conference comes at a crucial time when devolution is high on the political agenda and will be a timely opportunity to discuss how investment in transport infrastructure underpins efforts to ‘transform’ and unlock the potential of the North of England.
It will also see TfN reveal the initial findings of the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review (NPIER) and our refreshed Strategic Transport Plan (STP). The conference will also see discussions on Transport for the North’s work in EV charging, Freight and Logistics, Active Travel, and Rural Mobility.
Transport is about long-term benefits, connecting people to facilitate growth and greater productivity. One of the biggest issues facing the North of England remains the need to address the decades of underinvestment in our transport system: poor and unreliable connectivity is holding our people and businesses back, constraining growth, and hampering accessibility and social mobility.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “I’m alarmed at how bad our transport system has got. Kids can’t get to school. I’ve heard of businesses not opening because staff can’t get to work. The North deserves better.
“Until we get a public transport system that’s as fast as a car, that’s affordable, reliable and where everyone feels safe travelling day or night, we’ll never get the economic lift off we need or tackle the climate emergency.
“Join me at the TfN’s annual conference with other leaders, industry professionals and most importantly community voices – tickets are free. With the newly agreed devolved powers on transport, we have a once in a generation opportunity to fix this.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “In the North we’re being let down by failing train services, which are so poor they are dragging down our economies and impacting people’s day-to-day lives. We can’t allow this to continue.
“In the past few months, we’ve seen increasing focus on the needs of the North. The TfN Annual Conference will once again demonstrate how we, as Northern leaders and Northern people, are speaking together with one voice to ensure we get what we need to meet our ambitious plans for the future.”
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “We’re stronger together and I’m thrilled to stand alongside fellow Northern leaders making the case for a better-connected North. Right now, we have dozens – sometimes hundreds – of rail journey cancellations each week, now is the time for the North to map its own destiny and say ‘enough is enough’ to failing operators.
“People need to travel for work, college and to see loved ones and public transport is what brings us together and connects communities. Therefore it is vital we find ways to ensure future generations can make best use of it.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m looking forward to speaking at Transport for the North’s annual conference. By working together we can collectively find ways to continue the progress we’re making in places like Teesside.
“Events like this allows us to speak with one voice about what we need from our transport infrastructure to ensure the path we tread in our region is the right one.”
Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said: “We’re delighted to be holding Transport for the North’s fourth annual conference, setting out our ambitious vision to transform the North. At such a crucial moment, it is important that the North comes together as one to make the case for truly transformational change through investment in the North’s transport system and the need for pace, if we are to deliver economic growth that is sustainable and inclusive for the longer term.
“Our conference offers a unique moment when political and business leaders will gather in one place to meet and discuss the major issues impacting the North. And it will be an opportunity for us to discuss the refreshed NPIER and STP, which underpins the economic agenda in the North this decade.”
Photo credit: Transport for the North