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Our next Transport for the North event is taking place on 8th September, and wow do we have a stellar event planned for you.

Transport for the North are currently developing a Strategic Transport Plan. Following their Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review from last year, it is clear that investment is necessary to ensure good economic growth in the region. By 2050, the North can be contributing almost £100billion extra to the UK economy, and provide 850,000 more local jobs, provided that investment takes place.

This will be the first time we’ll have a Strategic Transport Plan in the North. Transport for London has a ten-year plan for investment in the capital, and this not only helps them plan for the future growth of the city, but helps local authorities and businesses make development plans too. It’s a lot easier for businesses to consider relocating their headquarters north if they know the transport links will be reliable.

TfN hope to publish the final plan next summer, after a series of consultations with partners, the government and the public. You can see the most recent factsheet about the Strategic Plan here.

Our event will touch on all aspects of transport within the region, including airports, road, rail and ports. To that end, we have four fantastic speakers booked in.

Graham Botham will be our expert on rail. As Network Rail’s strategy and planning director for the North, Graham has his finger firmly on the pulse of train routes within the area. He’s been in the rail industry since 1987, and in that time has secured investment in the Northern Hub package of rail improvements, and development of routes between northern stations and London, as well as the TransPennine route and more local journeys across the counties.

Talking roads will be Jeremy Bloom, Network Planning Director for Highways England. With over 25 years in the transport planning sector, he has responsibility for the Strategic Road Network. He’s also involved with the Road Investment Strategy 2 (post 2020), currently in its research phase. This strategy will affect the plans for the Trans-Pennine Tunnel connecting Sheffield with Manchester.

Our airports speaker will be Collette Roche, Interim Managing Director for Manchester Airport. Collette came to manage the third largest airport in the UK with a strong background in HR at blue chip companies in a variety of sectors, including Ford and Siemens. She has been at Manchester Airport Group since 2010, and manages the strategic, commercial and operational affairs of the entire airport.

Finally, Simon Bird will be our ports speaker. As the Humber director for ABP, he is responsible for the ports of Goole, Grimsby, Hull and Immingham on the busiest trading estuary in the country, where over £300m of business is turned over each year. His background includes roles at Bristol Port Company and Mersey Docks, as well as the Department for Transport’s Senior Port Advisor.

The chair for the event will be Nigel Foster, Director of Strategy for Transport for the North and one of the key driving forces behind the Strategic Plan. A man fully behind the development of the north, he believes that with the right support, the North’s economy can be transformed from one that is underperforming, compared to the rest of the country, to one which is much more productive. You can find out more about his vision for the Strategic Transport Plan in this interview.

We are also awaiting confirmation that Chris Grayling, MP and Minister for Transport, will be attending the event.

Event registration will open at 11:30am, when there’ll be networking over an arrival drink. From 12:30 we will have our opening speeches from our chair and head sponsor, and we’ll meet our brilliant panel. Over lunch, our panel will answer questions from the room using, and we’ll also run live voting polls so you can learn a bit more about the opinions of your fellow event attendees. The event will wrap up by 3pm.

A massive thanks to our sponsor Mace:

The Transport for the North lunch will take place on Friday 8 September, 11:30-14:45. Tickets cost £37.50+VAT for members and £60+VAT for non-members, and can be purchased here.

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