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City Devolution Bill

15 May 2015

Speaking in Manchester yesterday the Chancellor, George Osborne, promised a ‘revolution’ in the way England is governed with elected mayors presiding over far greater powers in major cities.

Ralph Smyth, transport campaign manager at Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments:

"The proposed City Devolution Bill risks creating a two-tier England: cities powering ahead on the one hand and a rump of peripheral shires being forced to make ever deeper cuts on the other.

“In relation to transport, for example, we risk ending up with giant car parks on the edges of cities, to enable public transport starved rural dwellers to interchange onto urban public transport. In the Prime Minister’s Witney constituency, controversial plans are afoot for a 1000 space car park to be dumped on a village at the same time as rural bus routes are slashed.

"Outside major urban areas, responsibilities for planning, transport, economy and health are divided up between different levels of local government. This represents a massive problem. Rather than rush ahead, England needs a national conversation about how to make sure our Rural Powerhouse is not short-changed by hasty action.”

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