A letter from David Brown, Chief Executive, Transport for the North:
Thank you for attending Wednesday's Transforming the North event. I'm sure you'll agree it was a success with a real buzz surrounding the discussions about the launch of our Strategic Transport Plan evidence base. We really appreciate the time that you gave us and as I promised in my closing speech, we want to provide some initial feedback that will allow us all to capitalise on this positive momentum.
Please see below a very brief overview of some of the key themes our facilitators took away from the breakout sessions:
· The evidence: general consensus that it 'feels right' but it would benefit from the support of key businesses, particularly if they can articulate what it means in terms of jobs.
· Support: there is widespread support for TfN and the evidence base from various public and private sector organisations covering the whole of the North's geography. This provides confidence that our emerging Strategic Transport Plan is 'by the North, for the North'.
· Credibility: TfN will need to demonstrate some 'quick wins' alongside the long-term planning to gain more credibility.
· Funding: someone will need to show faith in the bigger picture and commit first. This raises questions over who this will be and how TfN facilitates it?
· The Plan: this needs to focus on people to demonstrate how it will have a positive impact on individuals living in the North. The Plan can also act as a rallying call/incentive for Local Authorities and Combined Authorities to develop their intra-urban networks in support of TfN's priority corridors.
· Future technology: there is an opportunity to integrate this more to understand where interdependencies can help to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
· Branding and Marketing: TfN's key successes need to be communicated, particularly the early wins around rail franchising and Integrated and Smart Travel as this will help to build and maintain momentum allowing people to see the positive impact of what TfN is doing without having to wait for the long-term.
This high level summary doesn't capture all of the discussions and we'll be in touch again over the coming weeks with more detailed feedback from the event. If you didn't have chance to say everything you wanted to or if you've had chance to reflect further following the event, we'd still welcome your comments. Please email any further feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.