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Nexus boss calls for greater rail devolution to unlock city-region growth

Further devolution of responsibility for rail networks to local areas should be encouraged to drive more inclusive and sustainable growth across the UK, a number of major transport bodies have today said.

In a statement, the Urban Transport Group, who represent the interests of a number of bodies including TfGM, TfL, Merseytravel and Transport for West Midlands, have called for local regions to be given more power to run and deliver their transport networks.

The group has also called for more clarity on how the government would go about tackling the issue of air pollution in urban areas.

“Modern, efficient and integrated transport networks are critical to underpinning the inclusive and sustainable growth that our major urban areas need,” said Tobyn Hughes, chair of the Urban Transport Group and managing director of Nexus, who deliver Tyne and Wear’s metro services.

“The government should stay focused on providing city-regions with the powers and funding they need to deliver better transport.”

Hughes added that there was “massive potential” to do more with city-region rail networks including “further devolution of responsibilities for services and stations as well as for investing in modern and adaptable train fleets and additional capacity”.

“In uncertain times investing in urban transport is a proven way of supporting local economies, providing access to opportunity and creating jobs and we stand ready to play our part in delivering these outcomes,” he continued.
Hughes also highlighted air pollution as an important topic for Whitehall to set about addressing, as he concluded: “We also need far greater clarity on the government’s approach to tackling air quality in order that we have greater certainty over the targets we are being asked to meet, the level of government support available for the measures that will be necessary, and the national taxation and fiscal regime that will be in place in order to encourage the take up of greener vehicles.”

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Sonning Cutting   19/06/2017 at 15:41

Haven't you heard. The present Minister of Transport doesn't want Labour Councils etc running trains. He has already rebuffed the Mayor of London who wants to run local services from Dartford to London Termini. This is in spite of the outstanding success of London Overground in South, West and North London

Lutz   21/06/2017 at 06:57

In terms of the provinces I have no problem with this; it is OK if militants bring these cities to a halt. The regions should however be wary of what they ask for; they may get devolution but do not expect any additional funding to go with it. They will then be clearly responsible for all the failings in the local transport system.

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