The North’s transport network is currently in crisis, but there are major opportunities ahead. The chaos faced by passengers in the summer of 2018 revealed long-term structural weaknesses in the network, which have resulted from decades of central government underspending.

But in February 2019 a potential future was revealed as Transport for the North (TfN) published their Strategic Transport Plan, an outline business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail and their investment pipeline. This marks the ‘end of the beginning’ for this organisation, which has the potential to transform the North’s transport network and improve the daily lives of people living in the North.

But long-term plans must demonstrate short-term success. Northern Powerhouse Rail will be delivered over 30 years; while it is planned, scoped and developed, the people using the North’s roads and railways will still need to see improvements. For this reason, Transport for the North and its constituent transport authorities need some ‘quick wins’.

We define ‘quick wins’ as projects that can deliver real economic, fiscal, social and environmental benefits to passengers – ideally by 2020, and by 2025 at the latest. We worked with a wide range of stakeholders to compile a longlist of projects, and to set out a series of principles for shortlisting these. We looked across all ‘types’ of intervention and all transport modes, but we prioritised those which cross local transport authority boundaries or have a wider impact on the North.