Transport for the North has welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP’s, positive response to its proposal to become England’s first Sub-national Transport Body.

In his formal response, the Secretary of State commented favourably about Transport for the North’s proposal, and the organisation’s ambitious plans to transform the North’s transport infrastructure, boost the region’s economy and create up to 850,000 jobs by 2050.

The response is a positive step in strengthening Transport for the North’s role to speak with one voice for the region. The organisation will work with the Department for Transport to ensure that the North’s transport priorities are clearly understood by Government.

As part of the proposal, Transport for the North had to demonstrate that, in becoming a statutory body, the new arrangements will deliver better outcomes for passengers and transport users across the North.

The organisation and its Partners will now work together through the final stages of becoming a Sub-national Transport Body, with formal statutory status expected to be granted before the end of 2017.

John Cridland, Chair of Transport for the North, said:

“We are pleased that the Secretary of State has given his support to us becoming England’s first Sub-national Transport Body. There is a clear desire from across the country to see the North get the kind of infrastructure needed to deliver transformational economic growth that would improve the lives of all who live and work in the region. We will work closely with our Partners over the coming months and are looking to become a statutory body by the end of this year.”

The Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP, said: “This is another important step forward for Transport for the North and will help the region to speak with one voice on its transport priorities.The Government is committed to working together with our public and private sector partners in the North to embrace the ongoing opportunities to deliver the Northern Powerhouse.”

Transport for the North will continue to build on its progress made to date by driving forward its Strategic Transport Plan. The plan, set to be the first pan-regional transport plan in the country, will bring together the research commissioned by Transport for the North across the region to enable better connectivity and delivery of investment.

David Brown, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said: “Until now we have largely been working behind the scenes, gathering evidence and working with our partners to identify what needs to be done to create a plan for the North capable of delivering transformational change. Becoming a Statutory Partner will allow us to ensure the priorities we identify are formally considered by the Government.”

More information about Transport for the North, as well as a full list of the latest reports, can be found at www.transportforthenorth.com.