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 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.”