Support for bigger role for PTEs in delivering better rail
The six largest public transport authorities outside London today welcomed the McNulty report, and in particular its focus on the potential for greater devolution of rail powers outside London.
Chair of pteg, Geoff Inskip said:
‘We are delighted that the McNulty report recognises the benefits that devolving more powers over local rail can bring. We were particularly pleased to see that the report recommends a devolved unit of Network Rail to cover Northern, as this will help facilitate negotiations about how greater PTE involvement in the re-franchising of Northern might be achieved in practice.’
‘Devolution has already led to the transformation of rail services in Merseyside, on the London Overground and in Scotland. This is because devolved transport authorities are in a better position to make the right calls on investment and cost control than remote civil servants in Whitehall. For example, in the city regions there is enormous potential to bring down costs by converting traditional heavy rail services to tram train, as well as for operating less busy lines in less costly ways. Ticketing costs could also be reduced through including heavy rail within the wider smartcard ticketing that we are introducing.’
Geoff Inskip added:
‘The key players on devolved rail in England are Transport for London and the six PTEs. If McNulty’s ambitions for more cost effective urban rail are to be achieved, then we need a seat at the table to consider how the benefits of devolution can be fully integrated as the wider value-for-money process unfolds. This will also help in the big debates that there are to be had about allocation of costs and risk in order to ensure that our booming and successful urban rail networks are fairly treated.’
For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0781 894 1485 / 0113 251 7445
Notes for Editors
The six PTEs serve eleven million people in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear.
One in six of all rail journeys are made in PTE areas.