Cambridge metro plans scrapped, as new mayors take charge


Plans for a county-wide autonomous metro system for Cambridgeshire are set to be scrapped after the election of a new metro mayor for the region.

After winning the position of mayor for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority at the weekend, Labour’s Nik Johnson told Cambridge Independent: ‘I’m not going to proceed with it.’

Dr Johnson ousted Tory incumbent James Palmer, who had promoted the £4bn scheme but has now announced that he is leaving politics.

Nik Johnson, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

In a statement, Dr Johnson said: ‘We have huge opportunities ahead post pandemic with a focus on public health.

'There is also great innovation across the region, strong support for businesses, an appetite for tackling climate change, a drive for a workable transport system and a mandate for building affordable, sustainable homes.’

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was one of two metro mayor positions that Labour took from the Tories in what was otherwise a poor set of election results for the party.

Dan Norris ousted Tim Bowles to become mayor for the West of England Combined Authority. Mr Bowles had also proposed a mass rapid transport system, which is also supported by Bristol city mayor Marvin Rees, who was re-elected last week.

Dan Norris at the swearing in ceremony

Labour’s Tracy Brabin was elected as the first mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, becoming the first woman to hold such a position.

High profile Labour mayors such as Sadiq Khan in London and Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester were re-elected, as was Steve Rotheram in Liverpool city region. Labour’s Joanne Anderson was elected as mayor of Liverpool City Council, also the first woman to hold that position.

Following recent scandals at the authority, she vowed to stamp out corruption and 'rebuild trust'. 

The Tories held just two of the four metro mayor positions with which they went into the elections, with both Andy Street in the West Midlands and Ben Houchen in Tees valley securing re-election. By contrast, Labour now has 11 direct elected mayors.

While the Conservatives took control of 13 more councils in England, county councils bucked the trend of Conservative success, with a mixed picture for the party, including Cambridgeshire CC returning to no overall control after four years of Conservative rule.

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