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What would the 'Transport for North' involve?

A thinktank is calling for the Chancellor to use this month's budget to give £15 billion to the North East.

They want to create a 'Transport for North' network, imitating the existing Transport for London.

But what would the 'Transport for North' involve?

IPPR have set out a 10-year blueprint for what they think Transport for North (TfN) should do:

  • Appoint a Transport Commissioner for the North, who would be accountable to the public and be a figurehead for developing northern transport.
  • Move towards a contactless, cross-boundary ticketing system - using mobile phones and contactless payments for journeys across different modes of transport.
  • Manage rail franchises, rolling stock and stations - to do away with outdated Pacer trains, and make overcrowded services and platforms a thing of the past.
  • The research concludes TfN gives the North chance to national growth and prosperity, by boosting jobs, productivity and wages.

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Tom Jones announces open-air gig in Scarborough

Credit: PA

Music legend Tom Jones is heading to the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough this summer.

The Welsh singer, whose hits span six decades, has announced that he will play at Scarborough Open Air Theatre on Wednesday July 29.

Cllr David Chance, Scarborough Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Culture, said:

We are extremely delighted to be welcoming the international legend that is Sir Tom Jones to the Open Air Theatre.

This is a real coup for Scarborough and just highlights the calibre of artist that we can attract to the venue.

– Cllr David Chance, Scarborough Borough Council

This will be the first time Tom has played in Scarborough. Tickets go on sale at 9am Monday March 9.

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Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson backs Sports Fest North East

Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is encouraging people in the region to get involved with Sports Fest North East.

Credit: PA

The free event, which is set to take place today at Durham University, is run by Paralympics GB and is open to all ages and impairment groups to have a go at a wide range of disability sports.

Bringing Paralympics GB Sports Fest to the North East is a fantastic opportunity for people in the region to relight that spark and interest in disability sport that shone so brightly at London 2012 and try it for themselves. It is so important that we maintain the momentum from the home Games and the recognition that we should all be making sport a part of our everyday lives.

– Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paralympian

New stamps celebrate famous bridges

Some of the UK's most dramatic bridges are celebrated in a new set of stamps launched by Royal Mail.

Ten bridges feature in the collection of first-class stamps, while a special postmark will be issued today.

The featured North East bridges are:

1 - Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge, Newcastle/Gateshead

2 - Royal Border Bridge, Berwick-upon-Tweed

3 - Tees Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough

Andrew Hammond, head of stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail, said:

The story of Britain's engineering genius can be found in its bridges. These new stamps celebrate 10 beautiful and ground-breaking landmarks that span centuries of our history.

– Andrew Hammond, head of stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail,
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