Business and political leaders will lead debate on Transport for the North

Coun Judith Blake
Coun Judith Blake
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BUSINESS and political leaders will make the case for extra Government funding for infrastructure at a major public debate.

Panellists at the event will include David Brown, the chief executive of Transport for the North, the organisation which has been formed to improve the transport system across the North of England, by providing the infrastructure to drive economic growth.

The debate will also provide business leaders with the chance to quiz Mr Brown about the potential benefits of a new high speed rail project, HS2, which is due to connect Yorkshire with London.

Mr Brown said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in this discussion on the role transport has to play in driving investment and economic development.

“The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review demonstrated the vital role that transport infrastructure has to play in transforming the economy of the North.

“Good transport infrastructure creates jobs and housing opportunities and allows areas to thrive.

“We are working with our partners in West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure that Leeds City Region is well connected with the rest of the North and internationally.

“I’m looking forward to this discussion, which will allow me to share initial thoughts on our forthcoming Strategic Transport Plan and update on the opportunities which will be created by major schemes such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2.”

The event - Transport for the North – The Investment and Development of Leeds City Region - will be held on March 10 from 11.30am to 3pm at The Queens Hotel in Leeds.

The other panellists are Martin Capstick, the director of regional transport strategies at the Department for Transport, Coun Judith Blake, the leader of Leeds City Council and Gerald Jennings, the president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce.

The event, which has been organised by the Met Club, will be chaired by Greg Wright, the deputy business editor of The Yorkshire Post.

Coun Blake said: “Increasing mobility in terms of better transport and connectivity is without doubt the key to transforming the economy of not just Leeds and Yorkshire, but the whole of the north.

“Faster, easier and more efficient transport journeys are essential to making the north more attractive for inward investment, which will drive the growth and job creation we need to realise our immense economic potential.

“Events like this are important as we need to work together as partners, along with our businesses, to keep making the case to Government for meaningful funding for transport infrastructure; reversing the decades of under-investment in the North.

“Transport continues to be a major topic at local, regional and national level and we are committed to playing a leading role in the debate as it is vital we do everything possible to make our transport network the best it can be.”

Gerald Jennings, the president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, said: “I hope this event will showcase the opportunities available for partnership working across the public and private sectors required now and in the future to deliver an integrated transport network across the North, the Leeds City Region and the City of Leeds.

Mr Jennings added: “Improved connectivity together with delivery of other key strategies will undoubtedly play a key role in growing the economy of the North.”

For further information about the event, call Julie Edmondson on 01423 525622 or email julie@themetclub.co.uk. Alternatively, tickets can be booked by visiting the website www.themetclub.co.uk.

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