Harry Gration MBE of BBC Look North was joined by one of the UK’s most renowned civil engineers to present a future of transport panel event at the University of Sheffield.
Andrew Wyllie CBE, the president of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), joined a panel of transport experts from Sheffield to present ideas and viewpoints about the transport infrastructure the city should consider in order to thrive as a Northern Powerhouse.
Each panellist was given 200 seconds to make their case, and then the floor was open to the audience to ask questions and discuss the proposed initiatives.
The discussion served as an opportunity to find out more about the Transport for the North Strategic Plan, which explores the need for investment in multiple transport methods, including road, rail, sea and air, to support long-term economic growth in the region.
On the panel was:
- Jonathan Spruce, Interim Strategy Director of Transport for the North, ICE Transport Panel Chair, and a major contributor to the recently published Transport for the North Strategy paper
- Mark Lynam, Director of Programme Commissioning for Sheffield City Region
- Peter Kennan, Member of Sheffield City Region LEP Board and Chair of Chamber of Commerce Transport Forum
- Chris Longley of SLC Rail and ICE Yorkshire and Humber Regional Committee
- Dr Danielle Densley Tingley, Lecturer at University of Sheffield
Speaking after the event, Andrew Wyllie said: “We’ve talked about what infrastructure’s required to make South Yorkshire competitive in a global economy. There have been some really interesting ideas, recognising that technology has got a key role to play. The ICE will be at the core of this, making sure that these aspirations and ambitions are achieved.
“I’ve really enjoyed my visit to Sheffield. It’s been inspirational, meeting graduates and students, and having really exciting conversations with apprentices about 21st Century transport. It’s a really exciting time for the region.”
Dr Danielle Densley Tingley said: “I spoke about putting decarbonisation at the heart of Sheffield’s infrastructure plans for transport going forward. In terms of the Northern Powerhouse, we need to have a plan of how we shift to a decarbonised system, because if we don’t, we’re going to change our system, then in a few years, have to change them again because we’re going to have targets to meet by 2050.”
Chris Longley said: “I think we need to know how infrastructure is going to affect societies, the communities that it goes to and through, and the environment, and we also need to use it as a tool to catalyse, push and develop our economies.”
Mark Calvert, Regional Chair ICE Yorkshire and Humber: “What I took away from this event is that the future is already here. We can’t be solving yesterday’s problems, we’ve got to look at the problems of today. What are we going to do with the talent we’ve got to move to the future?”
The event also saw the launch of the South Yorkshire Civils Network, which will aim to promote civil engineering in the region by providing a platform to share, promote and discuss projects and ideas.
Picture: (left to right): Jonathan Spruce, Dr Danielle Densley Tingley, Harry Gration MBE, Andrew Wyllie CBE, Mark Lynam, Chris Longley and Peter Kennan