In response to the government’s cuts to the budget of Transport for the North, Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said:
“The government’s decision to cut the internal budget for Transport for the North (TfN) by a massive 40% is another serious blow to the credibility of their levelling up agenda.
“The government also ended TfN’s role in Integrated and Smart Ticketing, a key part of the scandalously overdue effort to drag our regional railways into the 21st century. We’re relieved the government has continued funding to develop Northern Powerhouse Rail, but this move puts in doubt whether a critical part of the modernisation we need will be delivered according to Northern priorities – or at all.
“Transport for the North itself has been a distinctive voice for a region whose transport infrastructure is in desperate need of comprehensive overhaul to remedy decades of under-investment. That under-investment has held back the development of some of the most deprived areas of the country, and is deeply unfair to people across the North.
“TfN has played an essential role as a strategic coordinating body and a champion to make sure this crisis is addressed with the urgency which it deserves. It is an example of devolution which makes sense not just for the North but the whole country.
“Such a massive cut suggests that the government has no faith in TfN’s mission, or has an issue with its independence and advocacy. As with moves shift regional development funds back to more centralised control, it shows that their commitment to genuine devolution of control is only skin deep. We urge them to reconsider.”
- The Department for Transport’s 2021/22 Funding Settlement for Transport for the North cut the allocation for TfN’s Core Funding from £10m to £6m. it also clawed back £5m of the £10m budget for 2020/21.
- The Funding Settlement also ended funding for TfN’s delivery of Integrated and Smart Ticketing, although the Department said it would continue to look for ways to roll out the program to urban and regional commuter areas, including in the north.
- The Funding Settlement included £67m to continue to develop the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), but the uncertainty over the future of HS2’s north east branch through Nottingham and Sheffield, which was due to be closely integrated with NPR, has cast key parts of the project in doubt.