Last chance for Lancashire residents to influence where road and rail cash is spent in the decades to come
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There is only until Thursday (17th April) left to give feedback on Transport for the North’s (TfN) Strategic Transport Plan, a document that will dictate infrastructure priorities on the region’s roads and railways for decades to come - and so influence the places where government funding might go.
As a partnership of local transport authorities and business leaders, TfN has set three priorities that it wants to achieve by 2050 - transforming the North’s economic performance, rapidly decarbonising its transport network and reducing what it describes as “transport related social exclusion”.
The organisation’s chair, former transport secretary Lord McLoughlin, says that “better connectivity is absolutely essential to the long-term economic success of our region".
“We want to see a transport network that works for everyone in the North,” he added.
That sentiment has been echoed by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Rupert Swrabrick, who told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that there are “some considerable challenges for transport across Lancashire in the coming years”.
“[These include] to better connect our residents and communities to new opportunities and experiences, to reduce our reliance on carbon-based transport modes and widen access to travel choices that are safe, inclusive, affordable and low carbon.
"Transport has a key role to play in growing our economy, connecting our communities, tackling inequalities, and protecting our environment.
"Transport for the North works on behalf of all transport authorities across the North and provides a crucial role in representing our interests, keeping a close dialogue with government, seeking out opportunities to secure investment for the region and supporting local authorities and transport providers in improving the North's transport offer.
"We're excited to be involved in this important work and to contribute to this strategic transport plan.
"We're keen to ensure that this strategic transport plan represents our priorities and supports our efforts for Lancashire, its economy, communities and places to be better connected and more accessible,” County Cllr Swarbrick added.
A public consultation into the strategic transport plan has been running throughout the summer.
The final draft of the plan will go before the North’s political and business leaders later this year for approval, before being published early in 2024.
Lord McLoughlin said: “Hearing from as many people and businesses as possible across our region is vital.
“We want an efficient, high-quality, interconnected and decarbonis[ed] transport system that connects people and places. Talk to us, share your thoughts on our plan and help us deliver a long-term transport strategy for the North.”
To access the consultation, click here.