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Transport leaders to discuss how rail investment can get the North back on track at launch of online webinar series

Thursday 4th June 2020

A new online webinar series is being launched next week to bring influential local and national leaders together to discuss the North’s transport challenges and opportunities.

In the fortnightly #TfNTalks sessions, staged by Transport for the North,  a changing panel of experts will discuss everything from the benefits of road and rail investment and the importance of decarbonisation of our transport networks, to the latest developments in smart ticketing and what the future looks like for sustainable travel.

The first of the free online sessions is set for Friday 12 June 2020 at 1.30pm. The panel for “Strategic Rail – Getting the North back on track” will examine the plans and priorities for the months to come as the nation recovers from COVID-19.

Hosted by Andrew Bounds, Financial Times North of England correspondent and Enterprise editor, panellists will include:

They will discuss the potential of the North’s strategic rail network to deliver new jobs and accelerate economic growth –a key part of post-Covid-19 recovery plans – and how it can help tackle the decarbonisation challenge and level-up the North.

Also set to be discussed are the Blake-Jones Review and its potential to improve reliability for passengers; the importance of integrating plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the TransPennine Route Upgrade and HS2; and how data and smart ticketing will enhance the way people get around.

David Hoggarth, Strategic Rail Director at Transport for the North, said: “It’s been a challenging few months for the rail industry as we deal with the impact of Covid-19, first to reduce services and more recently to ramp them back up again, but we’re also looking further ahead to opportunities to devolve oversight of the North’s rail network and invest to bring it up to par with other parts of the UK.

“#TfNTalks will be a great opportunity to unpick some of the pressing themes such as putting passengers first and how we balance that with the need to keep freight moving, devolution, and how investment in our railways can underpin the North’s economic recovery. Anyone can watch the session and submit their questions to our panel, and we’d love to hear from people who work in or use the railways.”

To register and submit your questions in advance, click here to go to the Eventbrite page.

Transport for the North submitted evidence to the National Infrastructure Commission’s review of the Integrated Rail Plan this week. Members used this to call on Government to commit to sustained investment in a Northern infrastructure pipeline and give them a seat at the decision-making table. Click here to find out more and read the submission in full.

TfNTalks strat rail