I welcome new powers which will give our region an unprecedented say on how money is spent on transport, underlining the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman has backed up the announcement with £260 million of funding which will transform transport across the North of England, providing the infrastructure needed to drive economic growth, create jobs and boost skills.
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP said: “We are investing a record £13 billion in transport in the North of England - more than any government in history.
“As part of this, Transport for the North (TfN) will be a game-changer, with powers to speak with one voice on northern transport projects and drive forward ambitious plans to improve transport connections and unlock economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse.”
The Department for Transport also today confirmed £18.5 million from a £150 million government fund for TfN’s smart ticketing programme. TfN will use this to introduce paperless, smart card season tickets for Northern and TransPennine Express and Merseyrail passengers by the end of 2018.
The remaining funding is available for proposals to extend smart ticketing across public transport in the North, giving passengers more flexibility and a better integrated travel experience, including the ability to renew tickets online, fewer queues at stations and faster journeys through ticket barriers.
I’m delighted that the Government has devolved further powers to the North, enabling us to prioritise our own transport issues. The funding is there to back these powers up and it’s vital that we put them to use as soon as possible for the benefit of everyone in Cheadle and Greater Manchester.