Transport for the North will become a statutory body with funds of £30m, a new executive team and a remit that includes roll out of smart ticketing

 

TfN

 

Chancellor George Osborne announced that Transport for the North will be established as a statutory body in his summer budget last week, creating a new regional transport superpower.

TfN was set up by the government last October, bringing city region authorities together with government and national transport agencies.

TfN will take on statutory duties to set out its transport policies and investment priorities in a long-term transport strategy for the North. This will be underpinned by £30m of additional funding over three years to support running costs.

One of the “top priorities” for TfN will be to advance the roll out of “Oyster-style smart and integrated ticketing” across the North. The chancellor highlighted smart ticketing in his budget speech and it is understood that he is a strong believer in its potential.

An interim chief executive and executive team will be appointed by the autumn to accelerate TfN’s work programme, and a chair will join them by the end of this year. TfN will then publish an update on the Northern Transport Strategy ahead of the March 2016 budget.

A senior North of England transport executive this week told Passenger Transport that he expects the TfN chief executive role to attract an established transport boss with experience in the North’s city regions, like Merseytravel’s David Brown or Transport for Greater Manchester’s Jon Lamonte, if a sufficiently attractive package is on the table.

Osborne restated his commitment to devolving far reaching powers over transport to the North’s mayor-led city regions. He revealed he is working towards devolution deals with the Sheffield City Region, Liverpool City Region, and Leeds, West Yorkshire and partner authorities.

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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