THE Government recently formed the Northern Transport Acceleration Council to speed up major transport projects (The Yorkshire Post, March 22). The formation of this new council does raise some questions around how its role fits in with Transport for the North (TfN), an existing and accountable body within the devolution agenda, serving 16 million citizens.
However decisions are made, it is critical that all new transport investments fits within a coherent strategy to address climate change. TfN has done a great deal of work around this. Its new Decarbonisation Strategy sets an emissions reductions pathway that is slightly more ambitious than the national one, to reflect the policy of most northern local authorities.
Meanwhile, the Northern Transport Acceleration Council has identified over 100 unnamed schemes it aims to progress.
In general, increased rail investment is very welcome. However, new road schemes are now much more difficult to justify. It is vital that the Government respects the important work that TfN has done and recommendations it makes about new schemes.
Doing so will provide confidence that it genuinely wants devolution.
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