Beyond borders: Why everybody needs good neighbours when it comes to transport investment

A thriving North not only needs reliable transport connections within the region; people and goods also have to cross borders easily and get to neighbouring parts of the UK. Senior Strategy Officer Robin Miller-Stott explains how Transport for the North is working with partners in Cheshire, Merseyside and Wales to ensure investment in the North also forges links with adjoining regions.

As a proud Cestrian, I know how important cross-border links between England and Wales are. A strong transport network supports local and regional economies on both sides of the border, enabling people to seek new job opportunities, encouraging tourism into North Wales and Snowdonia, and opening new markets by allowing businesses to move their goods and services.

When we’re making the case for investment we know it’s about more than just transport, we also know that roads and tracks don’t stop at our borders, and that what’s good for us, is good for our neighbours.

Our cross-border approach is brought to life through our seven Strategic Development Corridors (SDC). More than traditional transport corridors, our SDC’s represent area’s where investment in transport could deliver the greatest opportunities for improving productivity and economic growth. They are fundamental to our Strategic Transport Plan and highlight the importance of working in partnership with transport authorities, governments, and business leaders at our borders with Scotland, the Midlands, Wales, and Ireland.

The West and Wales SDC is home to some of the North’s largest cities and has significant economic and population growth forecasts over the next 30 years. Transformational economic growth could bring an extra £34 billion to the corridor and support an extra 260,000 jobs on top of business as usual. The cross-border Mersey-Dee economic area has an economy larger than Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield.