As usual with government, this whole scenario appears to be ludicrously and overly complicated and it's difficult to know what any of it means for the future. In principal a single body able to influence and coordinate policy across boroughs sounds like a step forward. But what direction will that policy be?.
When it comes down to it the choice is between more cars or less cars.
The interesting bit from the GMCA wiki page is:
The Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC) and its sub committees would be formed from a nominated pool of 33 councillors to manage the TfGME and create transport policy, TfGMC will also elect its own Chair and Vice-Chair. The committee would assume the roles of the previous Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Agency (GMITA) as well as the newly devolved transport powers and responsibilities from Government and the Councils. These councillors would have voting rights on most transport issues despite not being members of the GMCA however some decisions would still require approval by the GMCA, the functions which would be referred (but not delegated) to the TfGMC would include making recommendations in relation to:
- The budget and transport levy
- Borrowing limits
- Major and strategic transport policies
- The local transport plan
- Operation of Greater Manchester Transport Fund and approval of new schemes
It sounds like those 33 councillors are going to be pretty important when it comes to the future of cycling in Manchester. Question is, will any of them dare consider that trying to accomodate more and more cars on the roads is a hopeless cause. Whereas the Dutch model of reducing car use whenever possible leads to huge benefits in every aspect of a region's prosperity.