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2012-06-07 SYP-001
South Yorkshire ITA

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Call for rail devolution in the north


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South Yorkshire ITA

Call for rail devolution in the north
_______________________________________________________________


date
7 June 2012
source South Yorkshire ITA
type Press release



Transport chiefs in the north of England are calling upon the Government to allow local rail services to be managed “by the north, for the north.”

South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA) has backed plans that would see greater powers passed down from Central Government to transport authorities in the north for the running of the local rail network – and it believes these extra powers would help draw in badly-needed investment.

Together with transport chiefs in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and other northern authorities SYITA has written to the Government to express its approval for plans to devolve power to a new body, the Rail in the North Executive (RiNE), which would then manage the local network.

The authorities are calling for a new pan-north of England rail franchise which would merge the present Northern and TransPennine Express franchises. Research shows that combining these two franchises could save £7-10 million a year and see revenues rise by £3-5 million a year. This money could then be reinvested to raise the standard of the northern rail network.

If implemented the new arrangements would offer greater scope for local businesses, authorities, communities and developers to influence what investment decisions are taken in the Sheffield City Region and across the rest of the north.

Devolution would deliver four key objectives:

Supporting economic growth through better capacity and connectivity
Improving the quality of the railways in the north
Making them more accountable to local people
Delivering a more efficient railway which can grow revenue and reinvest to make it even better still
Councillors and MPs in the north have long complained that the amount spent per head in the north is just a fraction of that in the south. Of the trains running in the Northern franchise 87% dates from the 1980s or earlier, whilst more than 75% of Southern’s trains are from the year 2000 or later.

Mick Jameson, Chairman of SYITA, said: “Compared to places down south the north of England tends to get a raw deal when it comes to investment. These proposals would mean we would have more powers to invest in our local railways. That’s got to make sense.

“The best people to run the local rail network are the people who use it day-in, day out. That way it can best respond to what local people and local businesses need.”

The Government is expected to announce its final decision on how rail devolution might work in detail later this year.

ENDS


For more information contact Tony Belsaw, Senior Public Relations Officer, on 0114 221 1413, 07767 384 508 or at tony.belshaw@sypte.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN SOUTH YORKSHIRE
• South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) is the driving force behind the development of public transport networks in South Yorkshire.
• SYPTE implements the decisions of South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA), which is made up of 12 elected councillors from Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

SYITA and SYPTE are members of the Travel South Yorkshire partnership. The aim of the partnership is to bring public transport together, encourage more people to use it, make it easier to understand and deliver new, innovative public transport products and services. All the transport operators in the county are also members of the Travel South Yorkshire partnership. For more information visit travelsouthyorkshire.com

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
11 Broad Street West
Sheffield S1 2BQ
Enquiries: 0114 276 7575
Facsimile: 0114 275 9908


Railhub Archive ::: 2012-06-07 SYP-001





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