27 October 2014
More local control over transport would give people better and cheaper transport services and make it easier to get around, according to a new paper from Campaign for Better Transport. The paper, produced in the wake of the Scottish referendum and intense debate about devolution in England, describes how transport in England is at present highly centralised, constraining what local communities can do and spend. It proposes a series of measures to give more control to groupings of local authorities and transport users.
In particular it suggests:
- Beefing up the city authorities to give London-style integration with smartcards and integrated networks within five years
- Creation of new passenger transport executives (PTEs) or "Transport Consortia" outside the big cities to join up different councils and deliver smart tickets and other transport improvements
- Regional groupings to manage strategic roads and local rail services
The paper argues that much of this is in place already but needs support and encouragement, and a commitment to devolve powers and funding by the Government.
Stephen Joseph, author of the paper, said:
"In the wake of the Scottish referendum, there has been intense debate about devolving decisions in England. We're arguing that this can start now on transport, and not wait for other decisions and structures. Transport in England is very centralised but fragmented, and this has economic costs, including putting off inward investors who can get much better integrated transport for their workforce in other countries. This paper is intended to start people thinking about how to devolve transport and suggest some practical ways forward.”
For further information please contact Chloë Darlington at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the full paper Making Transport Local: devolution for transport in England outside London below