The Northern Transport Strategy



The Northern Transport Strategy

Authors

Laura Hurley, Department for Transport, Ian Palmer, Transport for the North, Samantha Evens, Department for Transport

Description

This paper describes the development of the UK Government’s Northern Transport Strategy, with a particular focus on the analytical questions that underpin this development.

Abstract

This paper describes the development of the UK Government’s Northern Transport Strategy, with a particular focus on the analytical questions that underpin this development.

The Northern Transport Strategy supports a vision of the north of England which will have a vibrant and growing economy, will act as a magnet for inward investment and will capitalise on the strengths of northern cities to build a strong and sustainable economy across the North of England. Traditionally, this large region has seen lower than average economic growth in the UK. The Strategy aims to harness the talent and potential offered by an area of 15 million people, which already generates around £290 billion of output per year. Rebalancing the economy is also a key aim of the Strategy, given the pressures on housing and infrastructure in London and the South-East of England.

The Northern Transport Strategy is an important part of the UK Government’s devolution agenda. It is a vision which has been developed jointly by central government, northern city regions and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), working together as the Transport for the North Partnership Board and with the organisations responsible for providing and managing transport infrastructure - Highways England, Network Rail and HS2 Ltd.

Developing a multi-modal regional transport strategy poses its own significant analytical challenges; how will the Northern Transport Strategy impact the economy, and how best can we capture these impacts in our appraisal of schemes?

The Department for Transport’s transport appraisal guidance, WebTAG, provides a framework for appraising transport schemes in the UK on a consistent basis. This represents a welfare-based approach to valuing the change resulting from a transport intervention, bringing together social, environmental and economic impacts, as well as the impact on public finances. The Strategy has explored other options for quantifying the wider economic benefits from transport investment, and the paper discusses these options such as agglomeration impacts, Land Use Change modelling and Spatial Computable General Equilibrium models.

The Strategy has also considered the transformational nature of Northern Powerhouse in transport schemes and we are creating a number of scenarios to portray the level and distribution of population, employment and GVA across the region. These scenarios are complemented by Transport for the North’s strategic narrative. The paper describes the importance of framing a strategic narrative for transformational investment and describes the sector-based approach taken by the Independent Economic Review.

Publisher

Association for European Transport