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North of England unifies at first meeting of new statutory body

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Transport for the North’s will formally take up its powers for the first time as England’s first Sub-national Transport Body at its inaugural board meeting on Thursday 5 April 2018. The meeting will be open to members of the public and will take place at Mann Island in Liverpool.

The meeting will see elected leaders from the North’s nineteen local and combined authorities (together with co-opted representatives from the six Rail North authorities) invite business leaders from the region’s eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships and representatives from Highways England, HS2 and Network Rail to join them to form a co-opted board to lead the organisation.

Barry White, Chief Executive for Transport for the North, said, “This is an important moment for Transport for the North, and also an historic moment as England’s first Sub-national Transport Body formally takes up its new powers. The board meets at a busy and exciting time for Transport for the North, with our consultation on the draft Strategic Transport Plan ongoing until 17 April, work to develop Northern Powerhouse Rail continuing, and delivery beginning for our Integrated and Smart Ticketing programme.

“We’re delighted to be inviting members of the public to come and observe this and future meetings. This initial meeting will see the adoption of Transport for the North’s constitution and formal appointment of statutory officers, as well as the approval of a business plan and budget for 2018/19.”

As well as taking formal decisions about the formation of Transport for the North as a statutory body, the meeting will receive an update on the ongoing public consultation on the draft Strategic Transport Plan. The Transport for the North Board will also consider the merger of Rail North Limited into Transport for the North. This will enable Transport for the North to co-manage the Northern and TransPennine rail franchises.

Until now, Transport for the North has been a partnership of elected representatives from local and combined authorities, alongside business representatives from Local Enterprise Partnerships and representatives from national transport agencies. The organisation has been expertly led by independent Chairman John Cridland (former Director General of the CBI) since autumn 2015. It is expected that this arrangement will continue now that Transport for the North has become a Sub-national Transport Body, although only elected representatives will have voting rights.

The meeting is being held on Thursday 5 April 2018 2.00pm at 1 Mann Island, Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP and further information can be found here.