Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for transport in the North of England - devolution of transport powers, infrastructure investment, and improving regional connectivity

Morning, Tuesday, 14th July 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers to examine the future of transport in the North of England.

The discussion comes at a time of accelerated government policy development and investment in transport and infrastructure - and as businesses and local government focus on economic recovery in the North of England in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be keynote contributions from: Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Combined Authority; James Heath, Chief Executive Officer, National Infrastructure Commission; Sarah Longlands, Director, IPPR North; and Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North.

Areas for discussion:

The COVID-19 pandemic - with discussion expected on:

  • the impact on transport users and those working in the sector, transport businesses and their services, and on policy and programmes going forward
  • what can be learned from the way the transport system has adapted during the pandemic
  • implications for the future of changes in habits and priorities that have emerged during the crisis - including increased home working - and the degree to which they are likely to remain embedded
  • how services and operations will need to evolve to meet demands going forward, including heightened public safety measures
  • the support that could be required going forward, with government funding of £238m for bus, tram and light railway services aimed at levelling up infrastructure and supporting economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic

Implementing improved transport - looking at key issues including:

  • the role of devolved bodies - including Combined Authorities and sub-national transport bodies
  • delivery of new infrastructure and - assessing plans that will have the most impact on tackling congestion in the network and driving growth
  • the operation of an integrated and sustainable transport network

Devolution - assessing opportunities it brings in transport, with:

  • Combined Authorities - such as the Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester both utilising their new powers to introduce a new bus franchise model
  • prospects for increased regional responsibilities - the announced White Paper on English devolution, and a commitment to increase the powers and investment available to regions

Roads and rail services - looking at:

  • priorities for improving the North’s strategic road network
  • future operations and how to improve rail services and passenger experiences, and implications of the Oakervee review, the Integrated Rail Plan, and commitments on HS2 for future rail infrastructure in the North

The agenda:

  • Assessing the devolution of transport powers to the North of England
  • Next steps for combined authorities - utilising transport powers, investing in infrastructure and creating a sustainable transport network
  • Priorities for northern transport - funding arrangements, project delivery and improving passenger experiences
  • The future of High Speed 2, and implications for the wider transport network and services
  • Increasing regional connectivity - creating capacity on the transport network, supporting regional growth, and upgrading infrastructure:
    • Developing international connectivity across the North of England - increasing transport links to major airports and driving regional growth
    • Investment in the strategic road network and responding to increased road traffic demand
    • Upgrading the North’s rail infrastructure - the Great North Rail Project
  • The future of Northern Powerhouse Rail

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for TransportMHCLGBEIS; the Cabinet Office; the National Infrastructure Commission; the Office of Rail and Road; The Planning Inspectorate; HM Revenue & CustomsHomes England; the National Audit Office; the Department for International Trade; and Transport Scotland.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Tim Wood

Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North

Keynote Speakers

James Heath

Chief Executive Officer, National Infrastructure Commission

Tim Wood

Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North

Sarah Longlands

Director, IPPR North

Eamonn Boylan

Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Combined Authority


Councillor Kim Groves

Chair, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee

Robert Largan MP


Anna Heaton

Partner, Real Estate and co-head, Transport Sector, Addleshaw Goddard

Adrian Kemp

Director, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

Neil Connor

Client Executive, Transport Operators, Fujitsu

Sarah Longlands

Director, IPPR North

Anna-Jane Hunter

Director for Rail in the North, Network Rail

David Sidebottom

Director, Transport Focus

Wayne George

Head of Scheme Planning and Sponsorship, Highways England

Adam Jupp

Corporate Affairs Director, Manchester Airport