The decision to withdraw funding from public transport outside of London, has been quickly followed by the abandonment of referenda in England’s North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions to create regional assemblies. Fears on the safety of all postal voting have been cited, yet the Manchester Evening News reports that this year’s all-postal local and European elections produced no more complaints than previous years’ traditional ballot box elections. And of course one wonders why we couldn’t revert to the ballot box in November.
Just as interesting, the proposed North West assembly’s powers have been watered down, with transport (amongst other things) removed. It appears that power will only be devolved to regional assemblies when the centre is confident those assemblies won’t do anything it wouldn’t do. The only regions to be offered assemblies were those where Labour is likely to win control, but with Labour councils taking to the streets to demand Labour ministers resign, local politicians look less trustworthy.
Click here for the Manchester Evening News campaign to save Metrolink, which you can support by texting the word tram followed by a space then your name and postcode to 83105. Each text costs 25p plus your standard message rate. The service is provided by Cellus.