John Cridland yesterday joined Transport Minister Andrew Jones in Manchester to launch a joint report from the Government and Transport for the North on progress to transform northern connectivity.
Mr Cridland said: “There is much to do to improve transport capacity and links across the North, and we now have the opportunity to make this happen.
“I look forward to working with city leaders, ministers and all stakeholders across the North of England.”
The Government created Transport for the North last October to bring together local transport authorities and combined authorities across the North to allow the region to speak with one voice on big transport decisions.
Mr Cridland spent his career at the business lobby group, leaving last month after five years as director general.
Mr Jones hailed the appointment as a major step forward for the Northern Powerhouse. He added: “His expertise will be invaluable to Transport for the North as it makes recommendations about the long-term investment the region needs. He will be a powerful advocate as we go about the vital task of rebalancing our economy.”