New Transport for the North (TfN) chief executive Martin Tugwell has said he wants to address inequalities as part of the sub-national body's strategy.
Tugwell joined TfN from sub-national transport body England's Economic Heartland, the region including Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, this week.
He, along with new acting chair, Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, will lead TfN's strategic investment plans.
In the next few months they will be working on the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail to the next business case stage, and the publication of TfN’s decarbonisation strategy and freight and logistics strategy.
They will also progress the Northern Transport Charter, which sets out a roadmap towards further, long-term devolution for the region around four key areas:
• Putting passengers at the heart of the railways.
• Leading Northern strategic scheme planning and delivery.
• Managing a long-term Northern funding settlement.
• Championing an inclusive and sustainable North.
Tugwell said: “This is a really exciting time to join Transport for the North and it’s an honour to take up the position of chief executive.
“There are many opportunities in the months and years ahead, and my focus is on ensuring we implement TfN’s vision of a thriving region, with sustainable transport connections that enable growth for our people and businesses, is more important than ever.
“With vital strategic projects already underway, including our pioneering decarbonisation strategy and transformational Northern Powerhouse Rail network, the North is well-placed to meet our ambitions.
“I look forward to working with our regional leaders and Government to make transport more accessible, inclusive and sustainable as part of the wider levelling up agenda.”
Councillor Gittins said: “Transport for the North’s mission is more important than ever as we seek to build back greener and fairer, and secure investment in our region. I’m delighted to take up the role of acting chair as we enter an exciting period with much potential.
“The Transport for the North Board champions a 'one voice' approach, bringing our region’s political and business leaders together to speak out on the key issues and help bring about changes that benefit our region.
“Working in partnership to foster collaboration and move forward with our shared goals is vital, and together we will build on achievements over the past few years and take our region forward with great ambition and determination.”