WBD has hosted a Policy Roundtable Event in its Newcastle office (23 April), organised by the North East England Chamber of Commerce, with senior policy representatives from the Department for Transport (DfT) in attendance.

A number of North East representatives across the transport sector were also in attendance. These include Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley airports, PD Ports, Transport for the North (TfN), the North East and Tees Valley Combined Authorities and many more.

The DfT updated the representatives on Government consultations around transport and encouraged businesses to put forward their views. Key issues included how to create sustainable aviation, Heathrow expansion plans, rail connections and port developments.

Kevin Bell, Transport Partner at WBD commented:

"Womble Bond Dickinson were delighted to be able to host the Policy Roundtable Event at our office in Newcastle with senior policy representatives from the DfT as well as number of representatives from across the transport sector.  

It was useful to hear from the DfT about the further developments on Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 as well discuss the Government's maritime and aviation strategies. All of those in attendance were fully supportive of the major infrastructure projects that are currently being championed by the DfT and TfN as they clearly benefit both the travelling public and businesses in the North East. But we must not rest on our laurels and think that these schemes will now be delivered. We need to continue to shout as "one voice" from the North East for the much needed improvements to the East Coast Mainline as without it, Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 will not be able to operate effectively and the timely delivery of key road works on the A1, A19, A66 and A69. This in turn will help improve access to our ports and airports and ultimately increase international trade and further inward investment.

It is an exciting time to be involved in the transport sector and Womble Bond Dickinson are pleased to be able to play a part in helping to shape the future provision of transport services close to home here in the North East."

Marianne O’Sullivan, Chamber Policy Adviser, added:

“Excellent transport links are a fundamental part of businesses’ success and we were delighted the Department for Transport heard our members’ views on this key issue.  A key part of our Stronger North East campaign is based on getting an improved transport infrastructure, so this meeting was key to us raising our priorities for investment to help to increase connectivity and trade across the North East.”

Over the next few months, WBD will work closely and support the Chamber in a series of interviews and roundtable events with professionals involved in the transport sector and local businesses who trade internationally. WBD and the Chamber will then publish a report identifying the key transport interventions required and how this will help to encourage international trade and grow the North East's economy.