Town Planning Review

Devolution to the English regions: Assessing its implications for transport

Town Planning Review (2004), 75, (2), 231–255.

Abstract

The publication in May 2002 of the White Paper Your Region, Your Choice: Revitalising the English Regions opened up for the first time the prospect of elected regional government in England. It asserted that regional government offers the potential for improved decision making, more efficient programme delivery and a better quality of life for people in their regions. But, like much of the debate about English regional government, these claims have not been tested. Drawing upon the views of regional stakeholders, this paper seeks to redress the balance through a case study of transport policy in the West Midlands of England. It explores deficiencies in current institutional structures and assesses how far they might be redressed by the White Paper proposals. The research shows that transport policies have become increasingly embedded in regional strategies. However, their implementation is an outstanding concern. The government's reforms are designed to achieve greater coordination between transport and other policies and between transport stakeholders. Nonetheless, they fail to address the underlying 'implementation deficit', the fragmented structures and blurred accountabilities that characterise transport policy and delivery in the English regions.

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Author details

Ayres, Sarah

Pearce, Graham