THE boss of Transport for the North has backed calls by Northern newspapers to the next Government to make serious investment in the North to bridge the gap between the region and London and the South East.

In yesterday’s papers across the North, the Telegraph & Argus and others put on a united front demanding more investment in the North to narrow the social and economic North-South divide in England.

Barry White, chief executive of Transport for the North, gave his backing to the regional press.

He said: “This powerful call cements the strength of feeling from the North’s communities – that our time is now.

“After decades of underinvestment, it’s clear investment in infrastructure is fundamental to closing the productivity gap and rebalancing the UK economy.

“When it comes to transport, the North is ready to go. We have a coherent plan, backed by the North’s political leaders and businesses, of where investment should be channelled.

“That includes totemic decisions like investing up to £39 billion in Northern Powerhouse Rail - which should absolutely be seen as an opportunity and priority for the UK, not just the North.

“Now we need commitments of both capital and development funding to get shovels in the ground on a range of road and rail projects as soon as possible.

“That, alongside a strengthened role for the North’s decision makers, could see the well-documented inequalities begin to close.”