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Pro-Manchester – A knowledge exchange with transport industry professionals


Thank you to Pro-Manchester for organising last weeks SME club event – ‘A Knowledge Exchange with Transport Industry Professionals’.

“SME’s will play an important part of Northern Powerhouse Rail”.

Phil Marsden, Director at Vextrix, concludes his thoughts from the event.

“The general feel from the event was how important it was for the industry to get going again. We need to invest for the long term, acknowledge that drops in capacity now will impact the BCR but understand the longer term benefit is still there.

The discussion acknowledged that there were skills shortage within the industry which need to be addressed but we also proposed to the speakers that larger consultants, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Network Rail and HS2 could look to SME’s within the industry to help fill this gap.

NPR stated that they would like to target 80% of their programme to be delivered by SME’s. The challenge is the ease of which SME’s can engage with these procurement departments.

Three key points which the panellists believe they would like to see from the Chancellors budget were:


  1. Ensure the 39billion is ready for NPR
  2. More commitment to the use of tram / train technology
  3. Oil the wheels of governance and commit to a comprehensive depots and stabling strategy for the North”