Agenda and minutes

Transport for the North Board - Thursday, 22nd June, 2023 10.30 am

Venue: The Hacienda Suite, Hoilday Inn, Manchester City Centre, 25 Aytoun Street, Manchester, M1 3AE

Contact: Gary Rich 


No. Item


Welcome & Apologies

The Chair to welcome Members and the public to the meeting.

Lead: Chair

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1.1          The Chief Executive welcomed Members to the meeting. Apologies were noted from Cllrs Lynn Williams, Miller, Gannon, Swinburn, Kemp, Hinchcliffe and Wharmby as well as Mayors Rotheram, Driscoll and Brabin and Houchen.  Apologies were also received from Alexandra Batey, Jo Lapin and Asif Hamid.

1.2          The Monitoring Officer informed Board that because the meeting required one further Member to be present to achieve a quorum of Members on numbers, the meeting could continue for the time being as a Chief Executive’s Consultation Call. She added that on the arrival of a further Member the meeting would then only be likely to be inquorate on the weighted votes requirement.  At that point, if necessary, she advised the Board to consider suspending this element of the quoracy requirement.  She further advised that the election of the Chair and Vice Chairs be deferred until later in the meeting once quoracy had been achieved.

1.3          Board was content to continue in the way advised by the Monitoring Officer.  The Chief Executive handed the meeting over to the Chair of the Board.

The Chair informed the Board that the consultation on the Strategic Transport Plan (STP) had begun, and an update would be given later in the meeting.  He reminded the meeting that key points from the consultation would be shared with the Board in September for initial discussion and steer, with the final draft scheduled to come to the Board in December for approval.


Appointment of Chair and Vice Chairs

To appoint a Chair and a majority and minority party Vice Chairs of the Transport for the North Board.

Lead: Chair and majority party Vice Chair

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2.1          the meeting was inquorate at the outset, this item was taken between Item 7 and Item 8 on the printed agenda by which time 10 voting members were present.  As the weighted votes element of quoracy was still not met, the Board agreed to suspend the voting element contained in paragraph 23.51 in accordance with paragraph 23.6 of the Constitution.  The motion was moved by Cllr Mundry and seconded by Cllr Swarbrick and supported by Board without opposition.  

2.2          The Chief Executive invited nominations for the Chair. Mayor Burnham nominated Lord McLoughlin, and this was seconded by Cllr Mundry.

2.3          The Chair invited nominations for the Majority Group Vice Chair. Cllr Mundry proposed Cllr Gittins and this was seconded by Mayor Coppard.

2.4          The Chair then invited nominations for the Minority Group Vice Chair. Cllr Mundry proposed Cllr Swarbrick and Cllr Ieronimo seconded this.



1)   That Lord McLoughlin be appointed as Chair of the Transport for the North Board and Partnership Board for the 2023-24 Municipal Year

2)   That Cllr Gittins be appointed the majority Vice Chair of the Transport for the North Board and Partnership Board for the 2023-24 Municipal Year

3)   That Cllr Swarbrick be appointed the minority Vice Chair of the Transport for the North Board and Partnership Board for the 2023-24 Municipal Year


Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any personal, prejudicial or disclosable pecuniary interest they may have relating to items on the agenda and state the nature of such interest.

Lead: Chair

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3.1          There were no Declarations of Interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2023 (including updates on agreed matters as appropriate).

Lead: Chair

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4.1              The minutes of the meeting of the Transport for the North Board held 23 March 2023 were considered.

4.2              Cllr Ieronimo stated that he was in attendance, and this had not been recorded in the minutes.

4.3              The Chair asked the Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications to update the Board on the STP consultation.

4.4              The Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications explained that following the Board’s consideration of the draft plan at its March meeting, the STP has been published in May for the statutory 12-week public consultation.  She explained that a few minor amendments had been made to it prior to publication to reflect the comments made at the Board’s March meeting.  She then went on to outline the variety of ways in which stakeholders and the public can take part in the consultation. 


That, subject to the inclusion of Cllr Ieronimo’s attendance, the minutes of the Transport for the North Board held on 23 March 2023 be approved as a correct record.




TransPennine Route Upgrade Programme pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive an update on progress with implementation of the Programme.

Lead: Network Rail

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5.1          Members received the report and presentation from the Programme Director, Mr Neil Holm, who highlighted the key points in his presentation.

5.2          The Chair referred to the reference to access plans set out in the presentation.  He noted that between 2024and2027 there are a number of blockades planned, but the number drops dramatically from 2028, and enquired as to is the reason.

Mr. Holm explained that this reflects that the works associated with electrification between Stalybridge and Huddersfield are yet to be finalized; blockades will be required between 2028-31 and will be confirmed in due course. 

The Chair enquired about the apprenticeships, specifically where recruitment will come from, and where the training is taking place.

Mr Holm explained that it is being delivered from a mix of sources including Network Rail and other industrial partners, including the two large alliances which are part of the programme and who have their own apprentice work streams.  Training providers are looking at how they can offer experience with more than one company.  Training will be done either through internal training or through local colleges. 

5.3          Mr. Kennan welcomed the progress on the freight gauge clearance in South Yorkshire. He was pleased that TfN is being active on the issue of making the case for investment that supports rail freight and reinforced the importance of this continuing.   Other members were supportive of Mr Kennan’s comments.

5.4          Cllr Hughes referred to the Stalybridge to Huddersfield section of the line and enquired if any consideration had been given to temporarily relaying the third and fourth tracks on this section.

Mr. Holm stated that there are no such plans due to a combination of the scale of works that would be required and the difficulty in gaining access given the other works required as part of the programme. 

5.5          Mr Mark Rawstrone expressed his support for capturing the scale of social value generated by the programme and asked how much expenditure is dedicated through local supply chains. 

Mr. Holm replied that it is at least 25% of spend is locally sourced but emphasised that efforts continue to increase this.  He added that there is also a significant amount of local employment.  He commented that economic value amounts to £4.3 billion across the life of the project.  He also highlighted that there is a wellbeing measuring tool which examines the impact on lives.



1)   That the presentation be noted


2)   That the Board endorses the importance of work to consider the integration of future infrastructure and timetabled passenger and freight services across the North of England and requests that a separate presentation on this work from Network Rail is arranged for Transport for the North Board Members


3)   That Board supports the next steps for the TRU business case which is a major milestone for the project as it seeks a decision to deliver and secure the funds required for delivery


4)   That the Board supports the funds being identified to enable design and delivery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


NPR Co-Sponsorship pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To consider the Agreement for approval by the Board

Lead: Director Rail and Road

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6.1          Members received the report from the Head of Strategic Rail who highlighted the key points within the report.

6.2          Mr. Nick Bisson confirmed that Ministers are happy to meet regularly with the Chair of the Board and a small delegation of Members to there is a mechanism for the Board and Ministers to maintain an on-going dialogue as the programme moves forward: it was noted that this would address a concern raised by the Board in its previous consideration of the Sponsorship Agreement. Mr Bisson stated that the Department was also keen to address concerns raised by TfN in relation to information sharing with its constituent authorities.  He further stated that the Department is keen to continue working with TfN to ensure that the co-sponsorship model evolves in the light of experience in order to ensure it delivers for both sides. 

Mr Bisson provided a more general update on the current position on NPR.  He thanked the TAME team for the on-going work they have done in supporting the DfT develop the business case.  He informed the Board that internal assessment of the business case was taking place within Government and he anticipated a wider conversation with stakeholders later in the autumn.

6.3          Mayor Coppard raised the issue of the loss of connections between Sheffield and Manchester, and more specifically connectivity to/from Manchester Airport. He restated the urgency for the Leeds Study Terms of Reference to be published explaining that the wait has been over a year and that the delay in being able to move forward is impacting on development, growth and investment.

The Chief Executive suggested that Members might consider asking the Chair to write to the Secretary of State, emphasising the impact that the delay is having.  He also suggested that this would give the opportunity to flag the importance of other related matters such as electrification of the Midland Main Line.

6.4          Cllr Hughes enquired whether progress had been made in identifying corridors outside of those included in the Integrated Rail Plan.

The Head of Strategic Rail explained that a lot of work was done as part of the NPR full business case, and whilst some of it needs updating, there have been some new opportunities that have presented themselves.  This work is being formulated and will be presented to the Officer Group in July. 

6.5          The Chief Executive advised the Board that as a consequence of what was before the meeting he considered the concerns raised at the last Board meeting had been resolved.



1)   That the Board endorses the NPR co-sponsorship Memorandum of Understanding.

2)   That the Chair write to the Secretary of State pressing for the publication of the Leeds Study Terms of Reference and stressing the importance of Midland Main Line electrification.


Road Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To receive a presentation from National Highways/DfT and to consider TfN’s draft response.

Lead: Director Rail and Road/National Highways

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7.1          Members received the report from the Head of Major Roads who outlined the key points within the report.  Members also received a presentation from Mr James Henry (DfT) and Mr Adam Simmons (National Highways).

7.2          The meeting became quorate at 11.20.

7.3          The Chair asked whether it is still a requirement of the Department for all new schemes to be make provision for the needs of cyclists.

7.4          Cllr Hughes welcomed the commitment of National Highways to work with partners to ensure integration of the Strategic Road Strategy with local major road strategies.

7.5          Members raised a number of issues relating to roads in their constituent areas.

7.6          Mayor Coppard raised concerns about the deferral of A1 upgrade being moved from RIS 3 to RIS 4 as well as concerns around the resilience of TransPennine routes, some of which (Snake Pass) are the responsibility of Local Transport Authorities, but which serve strategic purposes. 

7.7          Mayor Burnham expressed concern that projects are being delayed and moved into later RIS periods. He was particularly concerned that the work on the M60 junctions 8-18 Manchester North-West Quadrant study, which he described as the road equivalent of Castlefield Corridor, is being delayed until the 2030s. He commented that the delay on this work will have a big impact on the rest of the North.

7.8             Ms. Helen Simpson raised the issue of the A64 and echoed Mayor Burnham’s concerns about the impact on businesses and communities of delaying schemes, as well as the adverse impact arising from the over use of competitive funding.

7.9          Cllr Mundry expressed concerns about the rising costs of schemes and how this impacts on the North, noting that the North always seems to be at the back of the queue for everything, including rail, resulting in more traffic on the roads.

7.10       Mr. Rawstron supported a focus on smaller road schemes noting that they can have a disproportionality significant beneficial impact at a local level, specifically the economic impact. 

He also made a strong case for rural areas and how roads are so important to their residents, due to the lack of other alternatives. He asked that these are not downgraded at the expense of other priorities.

7.11       Cllr Rollo supported the need for a stronger emphasis on rural areas.  She requested a more explicit response to the consultation was required with a focus on the need to improve journey times and the reliability of the network. 

7.12       Mr. Kennan emphasised that it is Transport for the North and not Transport in the North.  He explained that there are key roads that we have no control over and highlighted the fact that Sheffield to Manchester are the worst connected city pair in Europe.  He suggested that these roads should get greater attention from a Transport for the Northpoint of view.

7.13       The Head of Major Roads addressed a number of comments and stated that as reported to Board in March, priorities amongst Strategic Road Network schemes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Connected Mobility Strategy pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To consider and agree the Connected Mobility Strategy

Lead: Connected Mobility Manager

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8.1          Members received the report of the Connected Mobility Manager who outlined the key elements of the report and his presentation.

8.2          Cllr Swarbrick welcomed the work being done and particularly the positive impact that this will have for rural areas. He stated that he was looking forward to moving from the strategy to activity.

8.3          Whilst welcoming the report, Mayor Burnham urged caution. He highlighted the previous attempt at integrated ticketing and explained that it stalled because it wasn’t linked to reform of public transport.  He stated that not “holding the fare box” for different modes can result in difficulty in achieving the ambition of integration.   

8.4          Cllr Mundry suggested that the ambition should be to buy one ticket to a destination where the price includes all modes of transport with the suggested best route.

8.5          Cllr Corcoran stated that as an area on the outskirts of Greater Manchester an integrated ticketing system would be valuable for his area. 

8.6          The Chair observed that a more substantive item on buses will be reported to the September Board meeting and will be integrated into the next TfN conference as well.

8.7          Mr Roy Newton explained that one of the major issues for businesses in his area is recruitment of employees and a key barrier is a lack of public transport as an alternative to the car for accessing employment opportunities. He would like to see some innovative thinking on self-sustaining models for public transport services.



That subject to any agreed amendments, the Board approves the publication of the Connected Mobility Strategy.


TfN Decarbonisation Priority Activities Update pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To receive the annual update on progress with the Regional Decarbonisation Strategy

Lead: Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications

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9.1          Members received the report from Principal Environmental and Sustainability Officer who highlighted the key points within the report.



That the report be noted.


Rail North Committee Update pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To receive the report of the Committee held on 7 June 2023

Lead: Chair (Rail North Committee)

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10.1       Members received the report from the Head of Strategic Rail.

10.2       The Chair invited Mayor Burnham as Chair of Rail North Committee to update Board on the last meeting.

10.3       Mayor Burnham explained that both main operators are now under the Operator of Last Resort (OLR).  He stated that this move provides an opportunity for rail in the North to be reshaped. He then informed Board that the discussion at RNC was focused on making the case for the railways that the North, arguing for infrastructure investment across the North. 

On Operator Business plans for 2024-25 he stated that close scrutiny needs to be maintained to ensure that cuts do not have disproportionate impact on local communities.  On the issue of infrastructure, the RNC welcomed the Ministerial announcement on the package of support at Manchester Victoria, although the Committee had noted that ‘package C’ has been removed which included the building of platforms 15 and 16.  Rail North Committee is concerned at these developments and considered that platforms 15 and 16 need to remain on the table until alternative to ‘package C’ has been developed. 

Regarding connectivity between Manchester and Sheffield he stated that the RNC agreed this needs to be a greater focus and TfN needs to be doing more about it.

Mayor Burnham placed on record his appreciation of the incremental improvements that have been made on Northern.

On TPE, he noted that progress has already been made subsequent to it being taken on by OLR, with an agreement signed between TPE and ASLEF on rest day working. He believed that the progress that has been made would not have been without the leadership of Rail North Committee and Members of the Board.

10.4       Cllr Hughes highlighted the impact of rail works during Bank Holidays which impacts on the tourist and leisure industry in the area.

On the issue of disruption at weekends to leisure travel Mr McIntosh explained that their ways of working are changing and that Network Rail has trialed doing works during the week instead.



1)   That Board notes the feedback from the Rail North Committee including discussions with the Operator of Last Resort, and Interim Managing Director of TransPennine Express (TPE) who will report back on their initial work in September

2)   That the Board endorses the further work on Statutory Advice to the Secretary of State on Manchester to ensure that the industry moves at pace to clearly set out an infrastructure solution to facilitate growth and connectivity needed in the North.


Communications and Engagement Strategy pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider and provide a steer on the emerging framework.

Lead: Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications

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11.1       Members received the report from the Director of Strategy, Analysis and Communications who highlighted the key parts of the report.

11.2       Mayor Coppard raised the issue of lack of diversity and gender balance represented at Board and whilst recognising the framework that determines the Board membership, he encouraged everyone to endeavour to achieve a better balance.  He requested that TfN executive look at ways in which some of these issues can be addressed.

11.3       Mr Kennan stated that the strength of TfN is that it has both business and political representatives in same organisation and requested that when quotes are given that the business perspective is also represented.

11.4       Mr Rawstron requested that in all communications should reference transport infrastructure improvement as a driver and enabler of economic growth as this adds legitimacy to everything that is said. 



That the report be noted.


Governance Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive the report of appointments to TfN Committees

Lead: Head of Legal (Monitoring Officer)

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12.1       Members received the report from the Head of Legal Services who outlined the key parts of the report.  She also highlighted an amendment to the report on the number of votes allocated to Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness.  Consequently recommendation 2.1.3 allocates two votes to each authority.



1)   That Board notes and approves the membership of the Board and of Committees for the forthcoming year as set out in Appendix 1

2)    That the Calendar of Meetings be approved (noting that these may be subject to change where necessary after consultation with the relevant Committee Chairs)

3)   That the votes formerly allocated to Cumbria County Council on Transport for the North Board and General Purposes Committee be reallocated as 2 to Cumberland Council and 2 to Westmorland and Furness Council, and that the 40 weighted votes formerly allocated to Cumbria County Council on Rail North Committee be reallocated as 13 votes to Cumberland Council and 27 to Westmorland and Furness Council

4)   That Board delegates authority to General Purposes Committee to make the required appointments to Independent Member vacancies on Audit and Governance Committee.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 27 September 2023


Hilton Leeds City

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Wednesday 27 September