The North’s political and business leaders have approved the appointment of Lord Patrick McLoughlin as the next Chair of the Transport for the North Partnership Board and Board. Lord McLoughlin has had an extensive career in UK politics for more than 30 years, serving as the Member of Parliament for Derbyshire Dales between 1986 and 2019. His experience in Government included two years as Government Chief Whip from 2010 to 2012, two years as Chairman of the Conservative Party and Chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster from 2016 to 2018 and four years as Secretary of State for Transport between 2012 and 2016. He joins the regional Sub-national Transport Body at a crucial time, with the organisation moving to a co-sponsor role on Northern Powerhouse Rail while seeking to secure continued investment in the region’s transport infrastructure to aid levelling up and boost economic growth. Cllr Louise Gittins, Interim Chair of Transport for the North, said: “I’m pleased to be able to welcome Lord McLoughlin to Transport for the North as our new Chair. He has a wealth of experience in transport and the public sector, which I know will put him in good stead for this challenging and important role. “Having served as Interim Chair since summer 2021, I can say that Lord McLoughlin is joining an organisation that has dedicated people at its core who care about the people in the North and use that passion to work hard in delivering a transport system that the region needs and deserves. “I wish Lord McLoughlin every success and look forward to working with him on the TfN Board.” Cllr Charlie Edwards, Vice Chair of Transport for the North, said: “I’m delighted that Lord McLoughlin has been approved as the new Transport for the North Chair. “His experience at the heart of Government that he brings to TfN will help us push forward with our ambitious plans for the region. I look forward to working with him.” New Transport for the North Chair, Lord McLoughlin, said: “I feel very proud to have been selected as the Chair of Transport for the North. I believe firmly in the potential of the North of England and know from my personal experience and professional career just how vital reliable, cost-effective and sustainable transport is to people and business. “I have followed the work of TfN since the start – I was Transport Secretary when it was set up – and so I am delighted to be the new Chair of this passionate, dedicated and visionary organisation. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead as part of Team TfN. “A key focus for the TfN Board remains the need to press the case as to why its preferred approach to Northern Powerhouse Rail remains fundamental to securing the long-term economic future of the North. The government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) goes against the best interest of people in the North and fails to deliver the step-change in rail services that is the only sustainable, long-term solution.” Lord McLoughlin will take up his new post on Wednesday 26 January 2022. He will Chair his first Board meeting on Wednesday 23 February 2022.