Parliament's Prime Minister's Questions last week were enlivened by a question tabled by Cat Smith MP for Fleetwood and Lancaster asking the Prime Minister if the people of Fleetwood could enjoy free travel access for holders of the NOW card on Blackpool's trams running through Wyre Borough.
David Cameron replied by saying "I will look carefully at the point the honourable lady raises." Much like his considering the report from a national health body on the impact of over consumption of sugar - and rejecting its findings on need for a tax on sugar. The following day Junior Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP sent a proforma statement to Cat Smith affirming there are no plans to extend the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme from bus travel to other transport modes (such as trams). No surprise there then from suits at the DoT.
Having the Chancellor stating the need for devolution of control and strategies to English regions and local authorities - we have the exact opposite in practise, with London based government departments spouting a mantra detrimental to at least one small part of the 'northern powerhouse'. It's all rather sad seeing this fixated and rigid attitude of 'mother knows best' when it comes to even modest changes at this level. Now if Boris Johnson was in charge of a Fylde authority or some similar loud and voluble politician - we would not be where we are. Instead a supine troika of local authorities point fingers at each other whilst disabled and elderly on the north Fylde coast grin and bear it, waiting for crowded buses and
a bar on equal access to Blackpool's low floor tram service.
At least Cat Smith raised this inequality on the floor of the House.