Transport for the North has announced the appointment of Tim Wood as its Northern Powerhouse Rail Director. Northern Powerhouse Rail is a flagship programme for the organisation and will see a radical change in performance; improving journey times and reliability and increasing the capacity and frequency of rail connections across the North.
Tim has a wealth of experience in leading development and infrastructure projects, having held public and private sector director roles across infrastructure and construction markets in the UK and abroad. This has included 23 years of experience in rail and 10 years in construction, he has also held the post of Interim Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, ensuring that the programme has continued to deliver at pace.
Northern Powerhouse Rail is a transformational rail programme to better connect the key economies and cities of the North. Its delivery is planned over 30 years combining new, existing and already planned lines, including integration with HS2, to unlock the benefits of this national infrastructure project for the whole of the North.
The network would deliver a step change in rail connections between the North’s six principal city regions and Manchester Airport, as well as other economic centres. Currently fewer than 10,000 people in the North can access four or more of the North’s largest economic centres within an hour. This would rise to 1.3 million once Northern Powerhouse Rail is delivered; transforming the job market, giving business access to skilled workers in larger labour pools and offering individuals the opportunity for flexible career development and progression in the North.
Transport for the North’s Chief Executive Barry White said: “I’m delighted to announce that Tim will be joining us on a permanent basis. Over the last few months he has proven his capability and suitability to lead the Northern Powerhouse Rail team. Tim has demonstrated his passion for the role and for our wider vision of a thriving North of England where modern transport connections drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life.”
Tim Wood comments: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take this post on a permanent basis. The last few months have been extremely busy for the organisation with the launch of our draft Strategic Transport Plan and consultation events taking place across the North.
“Northern Powerhouse Rail is at the heart of Transport for the North’s plans and is critical to rebalancing the UK economy. I look forward to leading the team as we embrace the challenge of progressing the programme in the year ahead.”
In January this year, the House of Commons followed the House of Lords in approving draft regulations for Transport for the North to become England’s first Sub-national Transport Body. This will mean that government is legally obliged to take into account the North’s own priorities when making decisions about investment in transport infrastructure. For the first time ever, the North’s transport needs and its opportunities for economic growth are being considered at a regional level and by people who are living and working in the North.