EVEN though the transport chaos straddles both sides of the Pennines, there are lessons that Yorkshire should be learning from the North West when it comes to this county’s approach to devolution.
For, while Greater Manchester does, indeed, have a high-profile mayor in Andy Burnham, and his deputy Beverley Hughes who was to the fore over the latest shambles on Northern’s rail services, there are some Labour MPs – like Lisa Nandy – who believe peripheral towns, like Wigan, Bolton and Bury, are being slowly sidelined.
And, as a prominent figure in the Centre for Towns lobby group, Ms Nandy’s words are prescient as political, business and civic leaders here intensify their efforts to convince the Government to back the One Yorkshire devolution deal.
She says the “trickle-out effects” of city-focused devolution “have not been felt in surrounding towns” – advice at a time when Yorkshire’s leaders are having to prepare for major changes in this county’s demographics as a greater preponderance of over-65s start to live in towns and villages.
Given the importance, therefore, of planning public transport for the whole county, leaders here, and the Government, should take note.