The transport secretary has given a positive response to a proposal from Transport for the North (TfN) to become England’s first statutory sub-national transport body (STB).
Chris Grayling invited TfN to submit a plan to secure statutory status, which is expected to be granted by the end of the year.
In consultation with its partners, TfN will now draw up the details of its operation as a statutory body, including roles, responsibilities and powers, which then will be put to Mr Grayling for approval.
In his formal response to the proposal that TfN submitted in the autumn, Mr Grayling commented favourably about Transport for the North’s proposal, and its plans to transform the North’s transport infrastructure and boost its economy.
TfN described the response as a positive step in strengthening its role and said it will work with the DfT to ensure that the North’s transport priorities are clearly understood by Government.
John Cridland, chair of TfN, 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.’
Mr Grayling 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.’
As part of the proposal, TfN had to demonstrate that, in becoming a statutory body, the new arrangements will deliver better outcomes for passengers and transport users across the North.
Last month, Transport Network reported that TfN appeared to have put back plans to publish an initial draft of its Strategic Transport Plan.