Highways UK 2018 Starts in

7/8 November 2018, NEC, Birmingham

Work Shop Feedback

Feedback on the Strategic Transport Plan

International Connectivity & Air

o On the face of the plans it feels like we are building 20th Century solutions, for 21st century problems, whilst using 19th century standards to move them forward.

o Assessment guidance is very archaic and controlled - for example has the international expansion opportunities been considered in the projects and evidence base?  Not just a note to them but actually considered in the assessment of scheme's

o Is building a huge network the right solution, should we not be investing in remote working solutions or technology that encourages people to not use the networks

o The plan is not very ambitious and should be embracing advances in technology such as hyperloop or other.


o Does it really take into account the impact on local area - for example Stockport is not considered although it is a key route and heavily congested.

o The plan doesn't really convey the 'what's in it for me' for specific stakeholders.  This could be clearer and will help ensure the positive messages in the plan land with people.

o A clearer link needs to be made to the Major Road network and the studies that are on-going in this area


o Focus on the basics of what users of the network actually want - e.g. a seat with stable wifi to be able to work.  This would massively increase productivity if trains could be seen as a remote office.

o TfN need to get involved in and look at the franchise agreements that are in place to understand any impact they could have

o Could the East/West corridor project not be a combined road and rail project

o Consideration of the digital railway and the impact of this to TfN should be made 


o Spatial co-ordination will be key and the use of spatial information management will drive the programme of works and bring it to live for TfN.  It needs to be stress free

o The evidence base should include the cost of the 'lost opportunities' and what could be done with more investment if given the option.

o The environmental considerations are not abundantly clear

o There is no link to the skills shortage in the industry


How can TfN use the evidence for the Strategic Transport Plan to transform the economy of the North?

o Some challenge that the plan does not feel right - but general agreement that the plan supports the NPIER capabilities.

o Challenge as to whether interventions should be on a corridor basis, or more urban centre focused. 

o TfN evidence needs increased focus on broader impacts - housing, spatial planning and sustainability.

o Accessibility v Connectivity (balance between the two)

o Are the modelling assumptions for the future:

     * Strong enough

     * Representative of the future

     * There is a risk off using outdated metrics

o TfN need to consider how they construct future scenarios in a changing landscape?

o What do the NPIER capabilities look like in the future? This needs consideration to inform TfNs future planning. 

o Change in the 'value of time' through the STP timeline. Change in population choices which influence travel.

o The impact of surface access improvements on airports and ports needs further modelling. TfN need to work with these institutions to strengthen business cases.


In general, what is TfN doing well?

o TfN is not working in silos - it sees across the north, and across modes

o Positive integration with adjacent areas outside the TfN geography - we need to link to their growth strategies

o Good that we are concentrating on the poor east west connectivity as a priority. Goods coming into southern ports and then having to travel north via road and rail causing congestion.

o Consistency of approach and evidence base is good, the challenge will be how we prioritise.

o Good progress in such a short period. A positive milestone.

o Good to see the number and breadth of people in the room coming behind the strategy.

o A strategy for the north, by the north.


What else could TfN be doing?

o Need quick wins to give credibility to the STP

o New rolling stock for TPE

o When strategy is produced, show what we will deliver and when

o HS3

o Appoint a new CEO - needs to be utterly compelling to DfT; former DfT colleague or private sector

o Establish the budget envelope 

o Identify additional funding, don't just take from CP6 and RIS2

o Need to identify what skills are required in the North and come up with an action plan to improve all skills

o Establish STB and get the sign up of partners

o Make our data / evidence base open and available to partners to use

o TfN could develop its own approvals process to recognise the challenges faced with multi-faceted approaches of WEBTAG, GRIP and Planning Processes etc. This could be a mechanism that works at a programme level

o TfN need to ensure we have the adequate evidence to build a business case and develop a coherent package/programme of activity that gives clarity of ambition and generates activity

o TfN needs to help the North generate access to a skilled economy to ensure the right people with the right skills are employed - currently some organisations recruit knowing that people will only be able to cope with the Northern commute for about a year then they move on (Manchester Leeds) so it's a challenge to retain staff

o TfN needs to have the best data sources and models to support programmes of work as they develop. This includes compelling evidence from the private sector.

o The TfN brand has to mean something to the North - the brand is key to having the same message coming from partners and the business community.

o Cross-sector focus including with Housing and Education

o Increase global competitiveness and increase complementary skills 

o To market the North's skills base further

o Need strong evidence on link between infrastructure investment and economic growth

o Serious prioritisation and joining schemes up

o Avoid 'gold-plating'

o Need to improve the appraisal process

o Need fast, adaptive funding and governance arrangements to respond to changes

o Need to make the most of North's quality of life and natural/heritage assets

o Importance of:

     * First/last mile

     * East/West links

     * Connections to London

o Need short term wins:

     * Journey time improvements and reliability

     * Smart: ease of journey, multi-modal

     * Northern Connect and rail franchises: innovative and responsive

o Need to think about behaviour change

o North needs a collective vision to drive political will

o STB status: keep collaborating

o Smart:

     * End-to-end journeys

     * Revenue opportunities

     * Data collection

o What are the specific interventions? What is the on-the-ground impact?

o Frame as a national rather than regional priority: importance to UK plc

o Quick wins, but also recent successes, eg. in rail franchises

o Demonstrate added value, eg. look at interaction between transport and land use

o Stakeholder engagement:

     * HMT: what do they want?

     * Formalise with housing, environmental and innovation organisations, perhaps with Board appointments

     * End-user/wider public - links to health, education, etc


What does 'good growth' look like across the Northern Powerhouse from both an economic and sustainability perspective? 

What does Good growth look like? 

o Inclusive

o Focus of NPIER capabilities, skills etc

o High Quality of Life

o Community Cohesion / Local involvement, including with young people - planning for the future

o 'Greater than the South East'

o 'Good growth means different things to different people'

Risks and Challenges

o Transport planning requires a sustainable focus

o Employment across the North as a region is a challenge

o Challenge to make the NPIER capabilities more accessible globally

o How can we take advantage of skills in the region - so skills can drive jobs rather than the other way around

o Are we linking in with the Government's Industrial Strategy - engaging with businesses in those sectors identified in the industrial strategy?

o How are we going to fund it - public v private? Who/what will be the first move on funding?

o Local authorities - how will we engage with LAs to ensure that can ensure they engaged to deal with a major piece of infrastructure landing at their door?

o We need to be able to justify / defend our sequencing / prioritisation of interventions

o Politics - if the DUP agree additional funding for NI, will this result in an increase in funding for Scotland and Wales; and therefore reduce the funding available for the North?

o How much of TfN's work was driven by George Osborne? Do we need a new political sponsor/champion to rebalance the economy?

o Do we have the right solutions? Are we engaging with a diagonal slice of businesses, large and small? Do we need to go beyond the LEPs?

o What does transformation look and feel like? For example Sheffield to Manchester by both road and rail.  How will we prioritise schemes, what will be the metrics?

o What is the link with Local Authorities e.g. interaction between inter-urban and local flows, how can they support and challenge these plans, what is the journey over the next 30 years?


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