Commenting on the laying before parliament of the legislation required to transform Transport for the North into the UK’s first statutory sub-national transport body, Christian Spence, head of research and policy at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:

“This is an important step in establishing Transport for the North (TfN) as a body that is better able to communicate the specific needs of our communities in the North to central government. The work undertaken by TfN so far has identified the region’s strategic assets and is developing plans to ensure that they are better connected to serve the needs of business and individuals better over the coming decades. The additional funding that comes with this announcement to support the development of Smart Ticketing and its implementation across the three major northern rail franchises is a welcome move.

“The North has seen a significant lack of investment over the past decades in its critical infrastructure and, whilst we are now seeing progress with some electrification schemes nearing completion and the finishing of the Ordsall Chord, there remains much uncertainty over vitally needed upgrade works to trans-Pennine routes and the increased capacity needed at Manchester Oxford Road and Piccadilly. We look forward to working closely with TfN over the coming months and years to ensure that the North gets the investment that it needs to enable our economy to grow and thrive.”

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About Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, providing business support to approximately 4,500 members who collectively employ 446,000 people, around one-third of Greater Manchester’s workforce.

Recognised as a leader in its field, Greater Manchester Chamber’s reputation in government circles has grown locally and nationally. At the heart of the area of greatest economic intensity outside London and the South East, the Chamber is the primary body for business support, policy, representation and networking.
The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit private company and its aim is to support businesses and help create the best climate for the region to prosper. This is achieved by ensuring that those taking decisions on key issues such as transport, taxation and business regulation hear the voice of our members. The representation of our members’ views is central to the work of the policy team at the Chamber; these views are gathered in a range of ways including our local councils, policy committees, sector councils, the main Chamber council, focus groups, meetings with politicians and consultations.

The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow.