This future for transport is not far away. By looking at new ways of planning and delivering transport services, we could see a shift in governance and funding by default as the framework for transport is forced to evolve more quickly to keep up with a new reality.
I understand that politicians have a hard job, and being in the spotlight with 7 million people watching at home must fray the nerves, but all I really want is a little more honesty. Don’t act like you’ve got selective hearing, if you don’t have answers for the questions then say so.
Liberal Democrat manifestos have become less a statement of priorities and more an opening gambit for coalition negotiations. This manifesto suggests that localism will be a big part of the discussion. There is radicalism here, but the big question is how much of it will survive contact with the Tories or Labour.
There is one clear message blaring through the new Conservative manifesto: local government is about growth. The party promises to continue devolving power over transport, economic development and social to big cities, as long as they agree to take on a directly elected mayor.
Labour is taking localism and local government more seriously than the party has done for a generation. That has to be good news. We should not underestimate how far Labour has come in a very short space of time, but we might also wish for a bit more radicalism if the party takes power.
Sector leaders need to encourage innovation from the bottom and middle-up as well as the top down and create the sort of culture where innovation and creative thinking flourish.
A couple of weekends ago I took my family to the local cinema in St Albans to see The Theory of Everything. Like others, we found it moving and uplifting. I couldn’t help but reflect how useful this theory would be in the cut and thrust of local government.
The case for devolving powers around the delivery of services has been won, but the case around greater fiscal devolution must still be made, both to the current government and the opposition.