Transport for the North was set up to develop a transport strategy for the north of England. Their recent autumn report talks about a “journey to transform the economy of the North of England”, and the website claims that they bring “together local transport authorities and combined authorities across the North of England to allow the North to speak with a single voice to Government”.
There’s just one thing. As a recent written answer made clear, Transport for the North is constrained by a specific governmental policy: “Transport for the North (TfN) membership is drawn from the North’s combined and local authority, and Local Enterprise Partnership leaders working in a unique partnership with the Government, Network Rail, Highways England and HS2 Ltd.”
Whatever the different bodies making up Transport for the North think of HS2, their transport organisation is another mouthpiece for HS2 Ltd. The section on their work on rail has nothing about plans for local and regional services and a lot about delivering the “full HS2 Y network as soon as possible”.
And yet, the HS2 Next Steps document published on the same day as the Transport for the North autumn report admitted that most of the decisions on the HS2 Phase 2 route had not yet been made and were not going to be made for another year, with no definite date for the Hybrid Bill for Phase 2 north of Crewe, except possibly by the end of the Parliament.
Transport for the North is another mouthpiece for HS2 Ltd, with more empty promises for trains later, maybe.