local government

Improving Transport Infrastructure Across the North

local government

08:45 - 16:00

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Central Manchester

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only.


This Forum will provide participants with an excellent opportunity to examine the latest policy updates regarding improving transport infrastructure across the North. Attendees will hear from leading policy stakeholders, such as Transport for the North and Network Rail, on the next steps in boosting local connectivity and economic growth by improving transport capacity. In addition, best practice case studies will share guidance on how to improve transport through robust investment, collaborative working and effective partnerships in order to improve transport infrastructure across the North.


This Forum is designed for Local Government and Local Enterprise Partnerships. Typical job titles will include:

  • Chief Executives
  • Business Development Managers
  • Transport Planners
  • Heads of Transport
  • Infrastructure Delivery Managers
  • Commercial Directors
  • Planning Managers
  • Directors of Policy
  • Partnership Managers
  • Project Managers

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Barry White, Chief Executive, Transport for the North 
  • Lord Goddard of Stockport, Vice Chair, The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Northern Powerhouse 
  • Dan Brown, Director, Strategy and Policy, Office of Rail and Road
  • Graham Botham, Strategy and Planning Director North, Network Rail 
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Henri Murison, Director, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Understanding the Current Northern Transport Infrastructure Landscape

  • Outlining the landscape of transport infrastructure across the Northern Powerhouse
  • Highlighting the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Northern Transport in supporting the improvements to transport infrastructure
  • Understanding the importance of government departments and local authorities working together to improve transport infrastructure
  • Examining the current challenges facing the transport infrastructure sector in the North and next steps needed to ensure these issues are effectively tackled

Lord Goddard of Stockport, Vice Chair, The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Northern Powerhouse (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: The Next Steps in Improving Transport Across the North of England

  • Outlining how the Strategic Transport Plan can provide the framework for transport investment in the North over the next 30 years
  • Exploring how Northern Powerhouse Rail will bring our major economic centres across the North closer together  
  • Expanding on how the seven key strategic development corridors across the North of England will provide opportunities for the small towns and cities
  • Discussing how Transport for the North will work with local stakeholders to improve transport efficiency and user experiences through Integrated and Smart Travel, making it simpler and easier for passengers across the North to move around
  • Assessing the impact of the transport plan so far and understanding the impact to economic performance in the North, including the latest in achieving the 850,000 new jobs and raising £100 million for the northern economy by 2050

Barry White, Chief Executive, Transport for the North (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Improving Transport Through Robust Investment

  • Understanding how Sheffield City Region worked with key stakeholders effectively invested in their transport infrastructure to deliver the UK’s first tram train system
  • Discussing how robust investment in transport infrastructure will lead to economic growth in Sheffield
  • Examining how collaborative working in Sheffield will improve customer experience and open up new opportunities to more people such as jobs or recreational experiences
  • Exploring the process that Sheffield City Region followed to successful bid for funding from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund and how this can be emulated for other similar funding opportunities
  • Outlining the journey that Sheffield City Region took to improve their tram systems and what lessons have been learnt from this

Mark Lynam, Director of Programme Commissioning, Sheffield City Region (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Working in Partnership to Improve Local Transport Infrastructure

  • Discussing how Stockport Council worked with Cheshire East, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and private sector firms to implement the expansion of the A6 relief road
  • Assessing the impact this road has had on economic growth in the region and the jobs created directly from this scheme
  • Understanding how Stockport Council co-ordinated with local authorities and national bodies to deliver a 10km dual carriageway and incorporated a walking and cycling route to encourage sustainable transport
  • Highlighting the key lessons learned from Stockport Council’s partnership working and how this will impact local transport in the area

Pam Smith, Chief Executive, Stockport Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Learning the Lessons from the May 2018 Northern Transport Disruptions

  • Outlining the key findings from the May 2018 Network Disruption Enquiry, including identifying gaps in industry responsibility and accountability across key stakeholders
  • Examining the impact that these disruptions had on the public and how this will have altered the public’s trust in railway services and created changes in public behaviour
  • Highlighting key lessons to be learnt from the May 2018 rail disruptions, such as ensuring effective communication between train operators and government bodies
  • Sharing guidance and recommendations to ensure that disruptions are less frequent and how operators can implement procedures to prevent issues

Dan Brown, Director, Strategy and Policy, Office of Rail and Road (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Improving Rail Connectivity and Infrastructure Across the Northern Powerhouse

  • Discussing the latest updates on Network Rails multi-billion-pound Great North Rail Project (GNRP) and how this will improve customer journeys across the North
  • Exploring how Network Rail have worked with local businesses to improve the Northern supply chain and stimulate economic growth
  • Understanding how Network Rail have improved rail services and capacity through the North of England Platform Extension Programme
  • Examining the lessons to be learnt from the Great North Rail Project

Graham Botham, Strategy and Planning Director, North, Network Rail (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answer Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Assessing the Effectiveness of Sustainable Transport Policy Across Greater Manchester

  • Understanding how Transport for Greater Manchester will utilise £160 million funding to create an extensive network of walking and cycling pathways
  • Discussing the actions taken by Transport for Greater Manchester to tackle the rising levels of air pollution including the Clean Bus Technology Fund
  • Exploring the success of the ‘Made to Move’ scheme that aimed to transform Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling infrastructure
  • Sharing the key challenges faced by Transport for Greater Manchester when trying to improve  transport

Simon Warburton, Transport Strategy Director, Transport for Greater Manchester (invited)


Closing Keynote: Examining Future Transport Investment in the North

  • Examining the realities of government spending on infrastructure in the North
  • Understanding how under-investment has effected the economic performance of the North and discussing the future of government investment in to the region
  • Assessing how the £37 million budget increase for Transport for the North will impact northern communities
  • Outlining the challenges facing Northern transport and how local authorities can boost their transport efficiency to stimulate economic growth and better job opportunities

Luke Raikes, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

According to a report by the Department for Transport, between 2018 and 2021, the North will be investing £831 per head on road and rail upgrades in the North-East, North-West and Yorkshire and the Humber- over £30 more per head than London and the South. It is therefore important that the North effectively uses this investment to improve transport services and boost the economy across the northern powerhouse.

The 2018 budget has seen an increased amount of funding being used to support transport links across the UK. This includes £28.8 billion being used to go towards improving the UK’s motorways and major local roads from 2020-2025. There will also be a significant portion being made available for the North specifically; £37 million will be used to bolster the funding for Northern Powerhouse Rail. Additionally, the Government will also be investing in smart transport, with £90 million being used to trial smart travel across the UK, which the North will be able to take advantage of.

Transport for the North (TfN) created their Strategic Transport Plan (2018) to set out how government investment will be utilised to improve transport infrastructure in the next 30 years, with the final plan being published early 2019. Transport for the North will be consulting with Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, before 2019 on how they utilise the £37 million which was allotted to the North in the 2018 October budget. This sets out a comprehensive plan on how Transport for the North will improve rail and road connectivity to boost the Northern economy and create jobs. The Strategic Transport Plan (2018) aims to transform all aspects of northern transport which will effect both large cities and small towns and the rest of the UK.

In order to ensure that the UK remains an international force within the global marketplace it is vital that the North encourages economic growth and creates key transport links whilst providing a transport service that is providing for an ever increasing population. Furthermore, it is also vital that local authorities, the private sector and local enterprise partnerships across the North work together to improve local transport infrastructure and services. Failure to do so could see further disruptions and lead to detrimental consequences for the UK economy.

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