Smart Transport

West Midlands urges Government to devolve more regional transport powers

Andy Street

Mayor for the West Midlands Andy Street is calling on the Government to grant more powers so the region has more control over its regional transport.

The Mayor and council leaders in the West Midlands have submitted a proposal to Government to devolve more powers from Whitehall ahead of a white paper and legislation expected to be published later this year.

The wide-ranging set of proposals also include powers to help accelerate infrastructure projects and to grant more control over its bus and rail network.

Street said: “Devolution has unquestionably bettered the lives of people in the West Midlands, allowing us to make our own decisions locally rather than having them made for us from London.

“With a greater say over how public funds are spent and more control over our transport systems, new powers would help speed up our economic recovery after Covid-19.”

Speaking on behalf of the seven metropolitan council leaders, Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Local councils must be an integral part of this devolution, with the West Midlands operating as a team to achieve shared ambitions. 

“That is why we fully support this drive for further devolution.”

Ward said it will not be possible for the West Midlands to rebuild and recover “unless all local services are properly funded in the future”.

The proposals come as the Government considers its latest devolution settlement. 

The upcoming Local Recovery and English Devolution White Paper is expected to be the first step towards handing down powers necessary to drive recovery at a regional and local level.

Full details on the region’s devolution proposals can be viewed here.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.

 

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