Road connectivity, port capacity and air links on the agenda for Transport Links Breakfast

The Transport Links Breakfast, in association with East Coast, will feature a panel of the North East’s key transport bosses and business leaders

The Transport Links Breakfast takes place on Thursday September 25 at Ramside Hall Hotel, Co Durham
The Transport Links Breakfast takes place on Thursday September 25 at Ramside Hall Hotel, Co Durham

The North East faces a range of transport connectivity challenges over the next 20 years, and The Journal and our sister paper The Gazette are bringing together the region’s top transport and business leaders to debate the most pressing issues.

Taking place at Ramside Hall Hotel on Thursday, September 25, the Transport Links Breakfast, in association with East Coast, will feature a panel of the North East’s key transport bosses and business leaders.

Road and rail connectivity, port capacity and air links will all be on the agenda for our panellists, including representatives from Tyne Tunnel2, Newcastle International Airport, Tees Valley Unlimited, The North East Chamber of Commerce and East Coast.

The debate will bring together leaders from the world of politics, business and transport to address topics such as the impact of HS2 on the North East, airport capacity and international shipping links. Leading the panel is Head of Sales for East Coast, Martin Turner, who has worked in the travel industry for 18 years, 17 of which have been in the railway industry. Over the last six years, Martin has been responsible for all East Coast business to business sales, developing revenue and managing the relationships with key business travel agents and corporate customers.

He talks passionately about the future of rail, particularly in connection with business travel, saying: “Business travel will have a major role in helping to drive the economic recovery in the UK.

“Increasingly companies are seeing business travel as an investment, as in order to grow revenue, meet new customers and win new contracts they need to travel to seize new opportunities.

“Rail provides a fast, frequent, affordable and environmentally friendly way to do this. In addition to this, the fact that train companies are offering facilities which make business travel so productive, both on board and in lounges, means that companies are choosing rail more and more for their business travel needs.

“This Transport Links Breakfast promises to be a dynamic event where those with an active interest in the future of our transport network here in the North East can have their say. I’m expecting a lively debate, and look forward to engaging with influential figures from the region’s business community.”

Other panellists confirmed so far include:

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Berwick upon Tweed and director of the Dual the A1 Campaign Group.

Rachel Turnbull, chief executive office of TT2 Limited.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, Local Enterprise Partnership.

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director at Newcastle International Airport.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan has led the charge to dual the A1 north of Newcastle and has won the support of Chancellor George Osborne, who said there was a “compelling case” for the action, on a visit to the North East this month. The Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Berwick upon Tweed has campaigned for dualling of the road between Morpeth and the Scottish border, with economic reasons at the centre of her case.

TT2 chief executive Rachel Turnbull knows the world of public private partnerships inside out as she leads one of the region’s biggest infrastructure assets. She will bring her unique perspective on operating one of the UK’s busiest tunnel systems.

Tees Valley Unlimited’s Stephen Catchpole has been instrumental in setting the LEP’s agenda for a sustainable transport system for Tees Valley.

As planning and corporate affairs director at Newcastle International Airport, Graeme Mason is immersed in the region’s transport landscape, and is a standard bearer, not only for the airport, but the North East’s connectivity as a whole.

North East businessman and chair of the Institute of Directors North East, Graham Robb, will chair the event. Graham is a senior partner at Darlington-based Recognition PR.

As sponsors of the Transport Links Breakfast, East Coast said: “East Coast is proud to be associated with this innovative event at Ramside Hall Hotel.

“Better connectivity makes for better, stronger businesses here in the North East, able to compete with the rest of the UK – and Europe – on an equal footing.

“East Coast understands this and is passionately committed to being part of and leading the drive for a range of integrated transport solutions that focus on creating a thriving economic powerhouse in the region.

“We’ve already spent millions of pounds on substantial improvements to stations, in new rolling stock and in improving and upgrading the routes we serve along the network. It all comes as rail passengers have voted East Coast as Britain’s number one long-distance franchised train operator in a national survey of customers’ views released last month.”

Book your places:

Tickets - £25 +VAT

Tables of 10 - £200 +VAT

(package includes refreshments & a full English breakfast)

To reserve your seats please call Lesley Hampson, Event Manager, on 0191 201 6435 or email lesley.hampson@trinitymirror.com

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer