We welcome the commitment of Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, to devolve planning and strategy for infrastructure but also call on the government to go much further and devolve spending too.
Matt Kilcoyne, Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute, says:
"The North remembers the promises of the last parliament to devolve significant powers, it also knows that these have amounted to very little real change. So while it is extremely welcome that the transport secretary wants the North to take control over planning its transport infrastructure this time it has to translate into results - faster journey times, more and better quality trains, faster decisions taken on infrastructure projects.
"If the government is serious about reversing regional decline and ending the UK's reliance on London for economic growth it has to get serious about where it spends constrained resources on infrastructure. The government should, however, go further than changing who suggests where money is spent. Spending should be devolved entirely, on a per-capita basis, so that city-regions have the money to spend – not just advise – on local infrastructure. The Northern Powerhouse, with a population of over 10m people, a mix of manufacturing and services industries, and famously poor public transport links, would be the right place to start."
For further comment or to arrange an interview please contact Matt Kilcoyne, via phone 07584778207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
[Image Credit: Manchester City Centre sunset photo. Taken from the 15th floor of a Piccadilly building. Tecmark Manchester]