Our powerhouse in the North


Jonathan Spruce, interim director of policy and strategy at Transport for the North, explains how transport planning across the region is set to increase opportunities for all.

On Tuesday 16 January, I joined northern civic and business leaders to launch Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan, which outlines how transport connections across the region can be transformed by 2050 to close the economic gap between the North and the rest of England.

Launched at six events across the region, linked to the North’s economic strengths in health innovation, energy, advanced manufacturing and digital, we are now giving the public the chance to share their thoughts on the proposals through a 13-week consultation.

Jonathan Spruce

There is a huge opportunity here to transform the North through potentially adding £100bn GVA and creating 850,000 additional jobs in the region by 2050, driven by modern transport connections that promote economic growth and support an excellent quality of life.

The plan, spanning 30 years, has been a team effort and shows that for the first time, civic and business leaders and transport operators are speaking with one voice to make sure the North fulfils its potential. We are really throwing down the gauntlet and making the case for plugging that historic gap in transport investment in the North.

We are proposing schemes that make it easier for people and goods to travel across the region, improving access to jobs, supporting businesses and improving the movement of freight and goods across the North and to ports and airports. This includes proposed road and rail improvements from the Port of Liverpool to the Humber Ports, via Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Sheffield City Region. It is met with a drive to improve travel between some of the UK’s vital non-carbon energy and research assets in Cumbria, North Lancashire, North Yorkshire, the North East and Tees Valley.

Outlined for the first time is the emerging vision of Northern Powerhouse Rail that would mean more than 1.3 million people would be within 60 minutes of four or more major Northern cities, an increase of more than 130% on the current 10,000 people today. A rapid, reliable and resilient rail network accompanied by an updated Rail Strategy for investment in the North’s existing lines, stations, services and franchise operations, is designed to open up connectivity and accessibility.

We are working with Highways England and the Department for Transport on three strategic road studies: dualling the A66, major improvements to the Manchester North West Quadrant area and a Trans-Pennine Tunnel and associated road improvements, which means that economic centres and locations will be linked to drive economic growth. The major road network for the North, comprising around 7% of the region’s roads, is a focus of long-term investment proposals for us.

Matched by an integrated and smart travel programme, public transport passengers in the North can look forward to better choices and information about travel and the fairest journey prices.

With estimated costs of Transport for the North’s plan equating to less than £150 per northern citizen per year, or £2-£2.3bn per year, the investment priorities are now open to public consideration before a final plan is published later this year ready for ministerial consideration.

This is about more than just improved connectivity and opening up accessibility. Launching the plan in the same year as the Government’s Year of Engineering means that we can play a role in attracting school pupils to STEM subjects and trying to involve them in actually building this transformed North. For new graduates wanting to stay in the region rather than having to move to London for their first job, this plan will increase opportunities for all.

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
transport network jobs


Torridge District Council
Up to £34,106 per annum plus relocation package up to £8,000
Looking for an experienced civil/structural engineer providing strategic feasibility and design advice to the authority Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Highway Project Engineer

City of London
Up to £42,870 per annum (inclusive of London Weighting) depending upon performance.
The Department of Built Environment is responsible for the delivery of highway and drainage schemes within the City of London London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: City of London

Graduate Transport Planner

Cambridgeshire County Council
£17,681 - £23,111
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer Maintenance

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit an Engineer Maintenance Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Tree Services Programme Manager

Nottingham City Council
You will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the Council's trees and woods, and will provide professional advice to others Woodthorpe, Nottingham
Recuriter: Nottingham City Council

Transport Coordinator

Camden London Borough Council
£32,473 to £37,670
We have an exciting opportunity for 2 highly customer focused Transport Coordinators to work in the busy Camden Transport Team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Highway Electrical Supervisor (Highway Maintenance)

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,657 to £28,221
The post will support two Senior Lighting Engineers in leading and contributing to the delivery of the Street Lighting function for the Authority Bootle, Merseyside
Recuriter: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Flood Risk Management Engineer

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 to £36,876
We are currently seeking a Flood Risk Management Engineer who will have a lead role with the Flood Risk and Development Team Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal Improvements)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal improvement projects. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal System and Operations)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal systems and operations. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Engineer (Traffic Signals)

Lincolnshire County Council
£42,806 - £49,441
Do you want to lead, manage and motivate a team of engineers working at the cutting edge of technology? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Nuisance Control Officer

Brent Council
£38,040 - £40,086 p.a. inc. + £4,800 shift allowance p.a.
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Rights of Way Search Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£7,188 - £7,327 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in maintaining, developing and promoting the Definitive Map for Bridgend Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Countryside Access Maintenance Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£12,644 - £13,015 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in ensuring that the local rights of way network is protected, well maintained and enjoyed... Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Principal Transport Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£37,320 to £40,198
The role will require close dialogue with developers and their agents and necessitate strong partnership working with District Councils... Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Project Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £33,136
Are you a qualified Highways Project Engineer? Would you like to work in the famous James Herriot area of natural beauty? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer Highways and Transport

North Yorkshire County Council
£28,2281 p.a.
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Regional Strategy Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
Band 15 – up to £41,846
Are you an experienced Transport Planner? Do you have exceptional communication skills to build relationships within teams? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Area Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £53,113 p.a. winter allowance plus 10% one off additional payment for exceptional candidates
Four Area Highway Managers roles available York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer – Major Development Applications

Somerset County Council
£33,136 to £37,107
We have a fantastic opportunity in Somerset within our Highways Development Management team. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council