Norman makes first appearance at Northern Transport Summit

The new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Jesse Norman MP, made his first public appearance after eight days in his new role, at Place North West and Transport for the North’s inaugural conference yesterday.

In his presentation, Norman praised the pioneering nature of the North throughout history, and called for to become “a single, strong, coherent, economic region”. The Northern Transport Summit brought together 230 people at The Midland in Manchester for a full-day conference looking at the issues around the strategy and delivery of major transport projects.

Following his session, Norman met with TfN’s chairman, John Cridland and outgoing chief executive, David Brown. The three discussed the future of transport infrastructure in the North, and its important role in driving regional economic growth.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “The great towns and cities of the north have a proud history of pioneering new transport developments, and an exciting future as part of the Northern Powerhouse. I look forward to working closely with Transport for the North as it identifies its transport priorities to help drive economic growth in the region.”

Cridland said: “Mr Norman was very positive about the North and what we as an organisation have been doing. It was a pleasure to meet him and we look forward to working with him as we continue on our journey.

“What we have achieved here at Transport for the North is a testament to how all of the areas across the region have been able to come together and drive the North forward.

“Only two years ago, just three people made up TfN; now there are over 80, and we are set to become the first statutory sub-national transport body by the end of the year. We are also pressing ahead with the development of our Strategic Transport Plan, which will lay the foundations for transport investments that will deliver economic growth and prosperity in the region for decades to come.”

Last week, TfN published the evidence that will inform its transport plan. The evidence includes a position statement, initial major roads report and initial integrated rail report. The work, which has been developed in close collaboration with stakeholders and partners, will help shape the Strategic Transport Plan that TfN will adopt when it becomes the first statutory sub-national transport body in England, expected to be at the end of this year.

All documents comprising the Strategic Transport Plan evidence base can be found on TfN’s website:

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Praised “the north”, and then called for it to present just one single strong economic entity up to the nation…

Only two years ago, just three people made up TfN; now there are over 80… And most people in “the north” don’t have a clue who any of them are, let alone had any say in their appointment. Nor the progression of the sim city misadventure, dressed up as transport, where the economic futures of their towns and cities are being determined for them.

By Mike

I was underwhelmed. I know Jesse Norman is new to the job, but surely he could have done more than just recount a few wiki-facts about the north? In any case our transport investment has just headed to Northern Ireland. I hope the briefing after his speech left him a little better informed.

By Peter Black

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