England’s first statutory sub-national transport body (STB) will take up its powers for the first time next week.
Transport for the North’s (TfN) inaugural board meeting, which will be open to members of the public, will take place at Mann Island in Liverpool on Thursday 5 April.
Mann Island, Liverpool from the Albert Dock
The meeting will see elected leaders from the North’s 19 local and combined authorities, together with co-opted representatives from the six Rail North authorities, invite business leaders from the region’s 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and representatives from Highways England, HS2, Network Rail and the Department for Transport to join them to form a co-opted board to lead the organisation.
Barry White, chief executive of TfN, 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.
‘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 TfN as a statutory body, the meeting will receive an update on the ongoing public consultation on its draft Strategic Transport Plan.
The STB’s board will also consider the merger of Rail North Limited into TfN. This will enable it to co-manage the Northern and TransPennine rail franchises.
Until now, TfN has been a non-statutory partnership of elected representatives from local and combined authorities, alongside business representatives from LEPs and representatives from national transport agencies.
TfN said that it expects that this arrangement will continue now that it has become a statutory body, although only elected representatives will have voting rights.