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Devolution: Our letter to Northern Metro Mayors on the future of roadbuilding


Northern Mayors (left to right): Oliver Coppard, Andy Burnham, Tracy Brabin, Steve Rotheram, Jamie Driscoll


As we have said many times over the course of our campaign (6 years and counting...), it is vital that we secure the support of our Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, in order to stand the best possible chance of achieving a better outcome.


The reason for this is this is that greater and greater devolution is the way things have been heading over the past decade; whichever party has been in power.


We know that our Metro Mayor is in regular contact with central government on a wide range of issues; transport being an increasingly important subject, particularly in light of the Mayor's ambitions for the city region's Freeport project.


More widely, devolution is significant for "The North" as currently, the Labour Party holds the position of power; our own Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and North of Tyne are all led by big-hitting Labour Party politicians.


One of the benefits of this is that it has led to some "joined up thinking" (sorry, we HATE that expression!) when it comes to transport policy.


The Mayors have a shared vision of how transport in the North should work... and it's pretty exciting.


We have witnessed them presenting this in person; at last year's Labour Party conference, this year's Northern Transport Summit and Transport for the North's own conference in March.


However, one thing that's missing so far is any kind of acknowledgement of how roadbuilding and major projects such as the one we're fighting, undermine efforts on public transport and active travel, and conflict with so many of the other priorities of our Metro Mayors.


One reason for this will be that, currently, roadbuilding does not fall within their powers.


But, for how much longer?


And surely, if either a government-led, or local authority-led road project happening on their patch conflicts with the wider aims of the Combined Authority (clean air, protection of green space, Net Zero etc etc), our Mayors need to step up, get involved and push back on them?


Finally, shouldn't they be looking across the border to the Labour-led Welsh Assembly for inspiration on how to handle roadbuilding in the future, following their ground breaking Roads Review?


We think so, and that's exactly what we've explored in our recent letter to the Northern Mayors, which you can read in full below.


We'll obviously let you know if / when any response is received.



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