Devolution right way forward for local rail

Thursday, March 8, 2012
SYPTE

But fair deal on costs and risks needed for services to improve

pteg today welcomed the rail command paper, and associated consultation on the scope for further devolution of powers over local rail services.

Chair of pteg, Geoff Inskip said:

‘We are very pleased that the Secretary of State has recognised that devolution of powers over rail services can bring real benefits to passengers. As we have seen in Merseyside and London – rail devolution can lead to more investment, more reliable services, and networks that better reflect the needs of local economies.

Local control - instead of remote control from Whitehall - will make those services more responsive to local need and passengers’ views, It offers the prospect of better integration with tram and bus, and ultimately for London-style, smart and simple ticketing across all forms of big city public transport networks.’

Geoff Inskip added:

‘Government is clear that for the UK economy to thrive, our cities will need to be in the vanguard of growth. For this to happen these cities will need modern and efficient commuter rail networks, and excellent wider rail connectivity. Whilst we recognise that these are tough times and it will not be possible to transform services overnight - we will need a fair deal from national government on costs and risks to make devolution work for both passengers and for the economies of our cities.’

‘During the consultation period Northern PTEs and Centro will be further developing the proposals in their respective areas for how devolution in the North and in the West Midlands will best work in practice. Northern PTEs and Centro will also be discussing these opportunities with their neighbouring local transport authorities and partners to make sure that devolution brings benefits throughout the wider regions of which we are part.’

ENDS

For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485

Notes for Editors

pteg represents the six locally accountable PTEs which serve eleven million people in the West Midlands (‘Centro’), West Yorkshire (‘Metro’), Greater Manchester (‘Transport for Greater Manchester’), Merseyside (‘Merseytravel’), Tyne and Wear (‘Nexus’) and South Yorkshire (‘SYPTE’).