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Old September 10th, 2014, 11:55 AM   #81
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In balance the Liverpool side of this little debate here is coming off better. All they are doing is making a decent case for how large their metropolitan area while others exaggerate the size of theirs and belittle the size of Liverpool's.

That the (nastier and actually wrongheaded) side of this 'argument' has attracted the support of one of the worst insects on this forum is telling (but not for any reason the insect could comprehend). That it attracts such insects now does not imply however that Manchester is a great turd however. Oh no.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:13 PM   #82
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.....Liverpool can be a retail/hospitality centre and place of local government/education/health employment for its residents.
That's not good enough.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:15 PM   #83
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It's not at all inconsistent, it's the opposite of inconsistent, because while your made up figure is simply to portray your city as being larger than it is (when in fact its county already encompasses far flung unconnected towns), the wider metropolitan region referred to by Liverpool is simply reflective of the reality around it, solely for the purposes of being able to make proper like for like comparisons.

The line you'll spin is that Manchester is a larger city worth so much more than its neighbour. The truth, however, is that GM/wider Manchester city region is 2.7m pop with £48bn gva, whereas wider LCR is 2.4m pop and £43bn gva (2011). A basic knowledge of geography and use of satellite maps is enough for anyone to see the sense in this like for like comparison. Liverpool's met county is too small, Manchester's is too big, but the cities are and always have been pretty much equal. Whether you want to believe in Manchester the mythical metropolitan giant or not.

You dislike like for like comparisons because they blow your notion of Manchester being the be all and end all as far as the north west goes. Ultimately, we are pushed into either forcefully spelling the truth out, or being content to sit and get half (or less) of what Manchester gets while still having to accommodate a 2.4m metro area. Those days are over, and people like you will just have to get used to it.
I honestly don't know if you're a troll or just a completely uninformed? Presuming it's the latter I'll try and help you.

I haven't made anything up. The figure I quoted for the population of the wider Manchester City Region is based on the definition of the MCR identified as the 'best fit' by the University of Newcastle for the government in a report into the geography of city regions that helped define the concept, and used by the Northern Way in its definition of the Manchester City Region. Your definition of a wider Liverpool region has most recently appeared in Michael Heseltine's and Tony Leahy's report into the Liverpool City Region. Neither is more or less 'real' than the other, and neither is official. As nerd has already explained to East both Greater Manchester and Merseyside lost areas to the south due to the Heath Government's desire to keep Cheshire in existence, and both include more neighbouring towns to the north because this wasn't an issue in Lancashire. Just because Greater Manchester includes places like Wigan does not mean that its natural city region doesn't include areas south of the Airport. It is completely inconsistent to claim Flint for the LCR while saying that Manchester has no links to Glossop or Wilmslow.

The two cities developed in different ways and that more than anything explains their different urban forms and resulting scales. Liverpool as a port city grew out around the river as that's where its industries needed to be based. Most of its neighbouring towns grew up separate from it as they weren't directly involved in port industries, and largely have retained that physical separation. The neighbouring towns of Manchester (and to a similar extent Leeds) however were always intimately involved with its industries, whilst its dispersed industrial economy spread up canals and river valleys and encouraged chains of settlement to connect them. Liverpool the city is distinct from its non-riverside neighbours, but Manchester merged into or engulfed many of its own into a single urbanised area. But that doesn't mean that Manchester doesn't have a wider commuter relationship with other towns that aren't part of the conurbation. In the same way Leeds is linked to Bradford by a chain of urbanism, but it's also linked to York and Harrogate by substantial commuter flows, or Liverpool is joined to St Helens by a corridor of buildings, but receives commuters from separate Runcorn.

Of course different numbers are useful for different things. Urban areas tend to be fairly good predictors of infrastructure spending, because long dense urban corridors require higher capacity and thus more expensive transit systems. However certain sectors (such as retail and high value employment) rely far more on these large regions to determine their size because people will happily travel from outside the urban region to access them. There's no right and wrong figure, but when making a comparison you have to be consistent in your definition. You can't compare a Liverpool that includes everyone who works, shops and drinks there, with a Manchester of everyone who lives near a Metrolink stop, because you are looking at two completely different samples.

So to take HSR as an example, if Liverpool were your 2.4 definition and Manchester you 2.5 then there would be no reason for Manchester to have so much more demand. But it does, so why is that? Well you have to look at what you're including in your definition. A Liverpool with a population of 2.4 million includes many people living in separate towns with infrequent heavy rail links to Liverpool. For these people the journey to Liverpool is an added inconvenience over getting a train from their local station. By contrast a Manchester of 2.5 million is a single urban area, with frequent bus and tram connections right to one of the potential HS2 stations from pretty much any point within it. Most people in Greater Manchester will enjoy a single stage journey to get to the HS2 station, whereas most people in the area around Liverpool must make a two stage journey to get to Lime street (bus or car to the local station, train to Liverpool). But if you look at Liverpool as just the dense urban area around it (population 1.2 million) then you get a much more realistic ratio between the current levels of patronage in each city. This is also presumably why the ONE North proposals separated Yorkshire services into Manchester services and Liverpool plus Manchester Airport trains. Because no one in for example Chester will choose to travel into Liverpool to get a train to Leeds, so the demand at the Liverpool end is lower than a population of 2.4 million would imply.

Now if you don't understand that, please don't bother to reply.

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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:23 PM   #84
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It's not at all inconsistent, it's the opposite of inconsistent, because while your made up figure is simply to portray your city as being larger than it is (when in fact its county already encompasses far flung unconnected towns), the wider metropolitan region referred to by Liverpool is simply reflective of the reality around it, solely for the purposes of being able to make proper like for like comparisons.

The line you'll spin is that Manchester is a larger city worth so much more than its neighbour. The truth, however, is that GM/wider Manchester city region is 2.7m pop with £48bn gva, whereas wider LCR is 2.4m pop and £43bn gva (2011). A basic knowledge of geography and use of satellite maps is enough for anyone to see the sense in this like for like comparison. Liverpool's met county is too small, Manchester's is too big, but the cities are and always have been pretty much equal. Whether you want to believe in Manchester the mythical metropolitan giant or not.

You dislike like for like comparisons because they blow your notion of Manchester being the be all and end all as far as the north west goes. Ultimately, we are pushed into either forcefully spelling the truth out, or being content to sit and get half (or less) of what Manchester gets while still having to accommodate a 2.4m metro area. Those days are over, and people like you will just have to get used to it.

Brilliantly put. Manchester and Liverpool are equally great city's but they have been set off against each other for too long. Manchester's political influence and media soft-power through BBC and ITV etc has also lead many to believe it's much larger than it is, much more important etc, which for Manchester I guess is great albeit slightly hollow. For Liverpool, somehow the city has managed to haul itself back to a good footing economically and physically but finds itself largely ignored, viewed as small despite being the same size as Manchester, Leeds etc and Liverpool nationally (and sadly) labours under old and damaging stereotypes although it's nice to see some of that now really falling away.

I firmly believe that the north can work together but a new order has to come into the regions politics that believe in working together and has that agenda. Old orders, bitter politics and ingrained superiority complexes alongside inflated ego's and rivalry amongst decision makers across each northern city will help nothing move forward.

All northern city's are finally in a good place and can really build on this now but without weeding out what I suspect is central government divide and conquer tactics we will not move forward in empowering the rest of the UK's major city regions.

We also have to hit home that making the UK's regions stronger will not compromise London - London is an international hub bursting at the seems with disgraceful living costs, excessive corporate greed and politicians who have abandoned morality in favour of short term popularity at any cost.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:26 PM   #85
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Most people in Greater Manchester will enjoy a single stage journey to get to the HS2 station, whereas most people in the area around Liverpool must make a two stage journey to get to Lime street (bus or car to the local station, train to Liverpool).
To be fair I'd think most people in Manchester or even London have to face a two leg journey in the same way, as not everyone can live within walking distance of a train/tube/metro station.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:29 PM   #86
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To be fair I'd think most people in Manchester or even London have to face a two leg journey in the same way, as not everyone can live within walking distance of a train/tube/metro station.
No, but almost everyone lives within walking distance of a bus stop, and most buses in Manchester terminate/pass within walking distance of Manchester Piccadilly or in South Manchester the Airport.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:54 PM   #87
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No, but almost everyone lives within walking distance of a bus stop, and most buses in Manchester terminate/pass within walking distance of Manchester Piccadilly or in South Manchester the Airport.
Do you know other city's at all? All city's have the same system. Liverpool has Merseyrail which is quite extensive and the bus network which all converges on the city centre. I've never had to take more than one bus/train to get to the city centre in Liverpool, and therefore Lime St.

London however, it's extremely lucky if you make 2 or 3 changes.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 12:57 PM   #88
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I firmly believe that the north can work together but a new order has to come into the regions politics that believe in working together and has that agenda. Old orders, bitter politics and ingrained superiority complexes alongside inflated ego's and rivalry amongst decision makers across each northern city will help nothing move forward.

All northern city's are finally in a good place and can really build on this now but without weeding out what I suspect is central government divide and conquer tactics we will not move forward in empowering the rest of the UK's major city regions.

We also have to hit home that making the UK's regions stronger will not compromise London - London is an international hub bursting at the seems with disgraceful living costs, excessive corporate greed and politicians who have abandoned morality in favour of short term popularity at any cost.
The decision makers actually tend to be pretty good about this sort of thing. Liverpool supports the Northern Hub despite most spending taking place in Manchester; Manchester supported the City of Culture and the International Festival of Business despite the events happening in Liverpool. The cities are stronger when they co-operate; that's not a matter of dispute.

But co-operation doesn't mean that the cities need or can achieve the same things. They are different and they have different demographic and industrial characteristics. You also need to appreciate that bigger doesn't automatically mean better. To say that Manchester is bigger does not imply superiority over Liverpool, simply that there is more of it. As you rightly point out there are many problems of living in London which is vastly bigger than any other UK city. To a lesser extent Manchester suffers from social problems you won't find in smaller cities like Leeds or Liverpool.

But if we want our cities to grow then they must grow from where they are now. Liverpool needs better links to its wider region to increase its agglomeration, just as Manchester needs better links to its wider region outside Greater Manchester. Whether you want to think of places like Warrington or Macclesfield as part of the Manchester region or not, they still function as such and therefore need better links to the centre city.

If the north is to function as one city, we need to understand that we operate in a common economic region. There can be no division of towns into Manchester or Liverpool regions, but only the sharing of them between our various centres to improve productivity in all.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 01:01 PM   #89
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Do you know other city's at all? All city's have the same system. Liverpool has Merseyrail which is quite extensive and the bus network which all converges on the city centre. I've never had to take more than one bus/train to get to the city centre in Liverpool, and therefore Lime St.

London however, it's extremely lucky if you make 2 or 3 changes.
But can you get a frequent bus from a suburb of Chester or from Northwich or Flint straight to Lime Street? That's the difference between being in a urban area or not. These are the areas that Centurio is claiming are the equivalents of Bolton or Oldham, when in fact they're the equivalents of Warrington and Macclesfield. The equivalents of Oldham and Bolton are Wirral, Bootle, Kirby, St Helens etc.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 01:13 PM   #90
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Dear God. The equivalent of 'Wirral' is Trafford. Bootle is something like Salford. Also for example, Bolton like Chester is a large town. It has a good and fast connection to Manchester, like Chester has to Liverpool, but it is large enough to have suburbs too far from its centre for its train station to be accessed by walking. If Cherguevara is trying to say that Rochdale and Bolton say don't have buses to their town centres as well as buses from their town centres to Manchester (as Chester has the 10 min frequency 1 and 2 to Liverpool along the built up A41 corridor to complement its 15 min frequency Merseyrail service to Liverpool), or that all of the residents of the large town of Stockport even can get to Picc without a change of bus or a bus to the local station then a train, then I don't believe him.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #91
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Dear God. The equivalent of 'Wirral' is Trafford. Bootle is something like Salford. Also for example, Bolton like Chester is a large town. It has a good and fast connection to Manchester, like Chester has to Liverpool, but it is large enough to have suburbs too far from its centre for its train station to be accessed by walking. If Cherguevara is trying to say that Rochdale and Bolton say don't have buses to their town centres as well as buses from their town centres to Manchester (as Chester has the 10 min frequency 1 and 2 to Liverpool along the built up A41 corridor to complement its 15 min frequency Merseyrail service to Liverpool), or that all of the residents of the large town of Stockport even can get to Picc without a change of bus or a bus to the local station then a train, then I don't believe him.
I'm saying most people in the Greater Manchester urban area can get buses (or trams) from near their homes to either Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Airport. Not everyone, but most people. Similarly there will be people on the far side of St Helens who can't get a bus to Lime Street, or in the suburbs of Bradford who can't travel straight to Leeds City. But most people within urban areas have much better connection options than those outside them. Therefore it is appropriate to compare urban areas when assessing the potential markets of railway stations in large cities. Comparing a wider metropolitan region to an urban area as Centurio thinks is appropriate will only be misleading.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 01:46 PM   #92
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The decision makers actually tend to be pretty good about this sort of thing. Liverpool supports the Northern Hub despite most spending taking place in Manchester; Manchester supported the City of Culture and the International Festival of Business despite the events happening in Liverpool. The cities are stronger when they co-operate; that's not a matter of dispute.

But co-operation doesn't mean that the cities need or can achieve the same things. They are different and they have different demographic and industrial characteristics. You also need to appreciate that bigger doesn't automatically mean better. To say that Manchester is bigger does not imply superiority over Liverpool, simply that there is more of it. As you rightly point out there are many problems of living in London which is vastly bigger than any other UK city. To a lesser extent Manchester suffers from social problems you won't find in smaller cities like Leeds or Liverpool.

But if we want our cities to grow then they must grow from where they are now. Liverpool needs better links to its wider region to increase its agglomeration, just as Manchester needs better links to its wider region outside Greater Manchester. Whether you want to think of places like Warrington or Macclesfield as part of the Manchester region or not, they still function as such and therefore need better links to the centre city.

If the north is to function as one city, we need to understand that we operate in a common economic region. There can be no division of towns into Manchester or Liverpool regions, but only the sharing of them between our various centres to improve productivity in all.
well said Che; in principle the establishment of some sort of executive agency for cities across the 'North' (or at any rate the Transpennine belt) provides a means of getting past any debate as to which towns belong within Merseyside and which within Greater Manchester. Much more tricky, put possible, it could provide a means of getting past the issue of whether Bradford and Leeds are two cities or one.

So far, the 'Northern Powerhouse' objective has been understood primarily in terms of improving cpacity and speed of inter-connectivity (mainly rail, but also road); so as to create agglomeration benefits.

But this also implies, if such improvments are successful, that there will also be a progressive concentration of populations and jobs into central areas of the 'North' cities. Post de-industrialisation, most of the city centres across the north are surrounded by substantial areas of under-used and derelict land - which could potentially support both substantially increased residential populations and new economic activities. It may be expected that the drivers of such growth will differ in differnent cities - Liverpool clearly is likely to claim most seaport-related expansion, Manchester, most airport-related function; Leeds likely a high proportion of retail-related functions.

But even so, the general agglomeration effects will inevitably tend to favour growth in one specific urban centre over the others. If the 'Northern Powerhouse' really is going to create a 'second city' of perhaps half the size of London - and the theoretical economics underlying the envisaged benefits of such a development for the whole UK ecnomy would imply that - then all the cities of the North would gain population and jobs, but one would gain a lot more than the others. A strategy for a 'Northern Powerhouse' will fairly rapidly need to coalesce around a judgement as to where the Supercentre would be, as many investment and planning decisions could turn on this.

I understand Centurio as appreciating this latter point, and maintaining that the northern Supercentre ought to be within Merseyside; but that historic administrative and investment policies have improperly favoured Greater Manchester instead. My own view is that the locational and infrastructure factors rather tend to point the other way. Suppose - to put a figure on it - one of the Metropolitan areas across the North is to expand to serve a population of 4-5m within its current boundaries, then Greater Manchester would seem to me to be much the most suitable of the potential candidates. I supect that may be Che's view too.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 02:03 PM   #93
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That's not good enough.
This insect doesn't think so either, but am trying to be realistic and pragmatic. There aren't industries such as shipping and cotton to divvy up (although obvious geographical factors at play) - and hence the cities will largely be fighting and competing over the same service industries. Which will only lead to attrition.

One solution would be to identify a niche and to focus on that. Perhaps the northern cities will all agree to specialise and focus in one area? That could be a way forward - the Ruhr cities all have distinct characteristics and focal points. Much better than all fighting for scraps of the same generalist legal, insurance and finance bits.

But we can barely agree on metro areas and population dick-measurements, so how can it be a contiguous metro to rival London's dominance (much needed and wanted) which is my point. Until some sort of harmony is reached, nothing will be accomplished.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 02:24 PM   #94
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This insect doesn't think so either, but am trying to be realistic and pragmatic. There aren't industries such as shipping and cotton to divvy up (although obvious geographical factors at play) - and hence the cities will largely be fighting and competing over the same service industries. Which will only lead to attrition.

One solution would be to identify a niche and to focus on that. Perhaps the northern cities will all agree to specialise and focus in one area? That could be a way forward - the Ruhr cities all have distinct characteristics and focal points. Much better than all fighting for scraps of the same generalist legal, insurance and finance bits.

But we can barely agree on metro areas and population dick-measurements, so how can it be a contiguous metro to rival London's dominance (much needed and wanted) which is my point. Until some sort of harmony is reached, nothing will be accomplished.
But we don't need to agree on metro areas and population numbers - though obviously we need to be consistent in applying criteria across the various geographies. My guess is that any sort of 'City North' executive will divvy up votes more or less equally to each Met city region.

The key issue is economic benefit. The theory of agglomeration would suggest that all cities could potentially be prize-winners in different ways; but only one city can scoop the jackpot. No jackpot for one, no prizes for the rest. If so, that does imply a consensus on who the jackpot-winner should be.

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Old September 10th, 2014, 02:48 PM   #95
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But we don't need to agree on metro areas and population numbers - though obviously we need to be consistent in applying criteria across the various geographies. My guess is that any sort of 'City North' executive will divvy up votes more or less equally to each Met city region.

The key issue is economic benefit. The theory of agglomeration would suggest that all cities could potentially be prize-winners in different ways; but only one city can scoop the jackpot. No jackpot for one, no prizes for the rest. If so, that does imply a consensus on who the jackpot-winner will be.
Yes that's what I am saying. But there are two ways - agree on what to focus on (and thus what the concede) and be united in terms of managing investment and development according to that - or, agree on one centre which can try to rival London, and ride the wave of that.

The latter would never be agreed upon, even though it would seem quite clear. Leeds is not in the realistic Liverpool 'travel to work' area, and vice versa.

The specialising approach seems to be fairer. Smaller cities in America have this, for example Hartford and insurance, and Charlotte and domestic/retail banking. NY is the biggie in both fields of course (as London would be), but the smaller focal cities thrive too. Austin thrives in tech, even with SF booming.

But then the bigger second city thing being more generalist like Barcelona, Melbourne or Chicago might work too. Boston is another well-rounded example. But this would work only without the in-fighting.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #96
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well said Che; in principle the establishment of some sort of executive agency for cities across the 'North' (or at any rate the Transpennine belt) provides a means of getting past any debate as to which towns belong within Merseyside and which within Greater Manchester. Much more tricky, put possible, it could provide a means of getting past the issue of whether Bradford and Leeds are two cities or one.

So far, the 'Northern Powerhouse' objective has been understood primarily in terms of improving cpacity and speed of inter-connectivity (mainly rail, but also road); so as to create agglomeration benefits.

But this also implies, if such improvments are successful, that there will also be a progressive concentration of populations and jobs into central areas of the 'North' cities. Post de-industrialisation, most of the city centres across the north are surrounded by substantial areas of under-used and derelict land - which could potentially support both substantially increased residential populations and new economic activities. It may be expected that the drivers of such growth will differ in differnent cities - Liverpool clearly is likely to claim most seaport-related expansion, Manchester, most airport-related function; Leeds likely a high proportion of retail-related functions.

But even so, the general agglomeration effects will inevitably tend to favour growth in one specific urban centre over the others. If the 'Northern Powerhouse' really is going to create a 'second city' of perhaps half the size of London - and the theoretical economics underlying the envisaged benefits of such a development for the whole UK ecnomy would imply that - then all the cities of the North would gain population and jobs, but one would gain a lot more than the others. A strategy for a 'Northern Powerhouse' will fairly rapidly need to coalesce around a judgement as to where the Supercentre would be, as many investment and planning decisions could turn on this.

I understand Centurio as appreciating this latter point, and maintaining that the northern Supercentre ought to be within Merseyside; but that historic administrative and investment policies have improperly favoured Greater Manchester instead. My own view is that the locational and infrastructure factors rather tend to point the other way. Suppose - to put a figure on it - one of the Metropolitan areas across the North is to expand to serve a population of 4-5m within its current boundaries, then Greater Manchester would seem to me to be much the most suitable of the potential candidates. I supect that may be Che's view too.
As I said before, I'm really only looking at it as a thought experiment at the moment, as I'm unconvinced that the required powers and funding will be forthcoming, but yes I would imagine the current hierarchy of urban populations would be retained for the reasons you suggest. Basing the populations on fractions of London, I'd imagine Manchester taking the 1/2 spot, Birmingham the 1/3 (as part of an expanded West Midlands conurbation separate for the Northern Supercity), West Yorkshire the 1/4 and Liverpool the 1/5. That's approximately a 5 million Manchester, a 3.5 million Leeds and 2 million Liverpool by 2050. All are about double the current county populations which seems unlikely to happen, but a fair reflection of what might be achievable.

It would mean a very dramatic and disruptive change in all of those cities though, but particularly Manchester. It's not all bad; all three cities could do with repopulating and improving their inner cities (particularly Manchester). But it would also inevitably mean more suburban expansion, particularly around Manchester Airport and the Bollin Valley, which while not a particularly important landscape is very pretty, a useful recreation resource in the area and means quite a lot to me personally. But if it happens I'd imagine it'd happen here.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 03:06 PM   #97
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Yes that's what I am saying. But there are two ways - agree on what to focus on (and thus what the concede) and be united in terms of managing investment and development according to that - or, agree on one centre which can try to rival London, and ride the wave of that.

The latter would never be agreed upon, even though it would seem quite clear. Leeds is not in the realistic Liverpool 'travel to work' area, and vice versa.

The specialising approach seems to be fairer. Smaller cities in America have this, for example Hartford and insurance, and Charlotte and domestic/retail banking. NY is the biggie in both fields of course (as London would be), but the smaller focal cities thrive too. Austin thrives in tech, even with SF booming.

But then the bigger second city thing being more generalist like Barcelona, Melbourne or Chicago might work too. Boston is another well-rounded example. But this would work only without the in-fighting.
If this model could be made to work it would be a very attractive proposition, but I'm doubtful it really could. Except for some very obvious businesses related to key pieces of infrastructure or clusters existing expertise I can't see how it could be made to happen. Let's say Leeds got law and Manchester finance, how would the local authorities force the locally based law firms to shift operations from Manchester to Leeds (and further from their clients) or the banks to close massive offices in Leeds where their current staff live? And how would they prevent upstart companies trying to take advantage of the disruption by reestablishing in the now abandoned markets? It would be a huge headache for the businesses, but with benefits that only accrue far in the future a short and medium term very costly one.

At least a one city first approach could allow businesses more freedom to expand in that city as the benefits of doing so become apparent, while leaving other activities less affected by agglomeration where they are. It's politically poisonous to say "Let's boost Manchester/Leeds/wherever", but from a business point of view probably more achievable.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 03:40 PM   #98
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I don't think it's a case of the region enforcing what goes where. The way I see it we'll have better regional and local transport and perhaps a regional tier of government (or decisions made collaboratively) to streamline regional projects, then it'll be up to market forces to cluster. I can well see companies having Manchester or Leeds as their primary choices while the workforce finds the Liverpool side increasingly attractive. Specialisation will probably happen naturally as well.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 03:45 PM   #99
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But can you get a frequent bus from a suburb of Chester or from Northwich or Flint straight to Lime Street? That's the difference between being in a urban area or not. These are the areas that Centurio is claiming are the equivalents of Bolton or Oldham, when in fact they're the equivalents of Warrington and Macclesfield. The equivalents of Oldham and Bolton are Wirral, Bootle, Kirby, St Helens etc.
You can get a Bus to chester, Arriva (check it out) and as for rail, Chester has the Merseyrail Wirral line taking it straight to Lime St Underground. As for Flint I don't know but these are very much to the fringes of the city region and whilst yes I agree they should have better connections to Liverpool i'm pretty sure areas of London are in the same predicament.
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Old September 10th, 2014, 04:00 PM   #100
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The decision makers actually tend to be pretty good about this sort of thing. Liverpool supports the Northern Hub despite most spending taking place in Manchester; Manchester supported the City of Culture and the International Festival of Business despite the events happening in Liverpool. The cities are stronger when they co-operate; that's not a matter of dispute.

But co-operation doesn't mean that the cities need or can achieve the same things. They are different and they have different demographic and industrial characteristics. You also need to appreciate that bigger doesn't automatically mean better. To say that Manchester is bigger does not imply superiority over Liverpool, simply that there is more of it. As you rightly point out there are many problems of living in London which is vastly bigger than any other UK city. To a lesser extent Manchester suffers from social problems you won't find in smaller cities like Leeds or Liverpool.

But if we want our cities to grow then they must grow from where they are now. Liverpool needs better links to its wider region to increase its agglomeration, just as Manchester needs better links to its wider region outside Greater Manchester. Whether you want to think of places like Warrington or Macclesfield as part of the Manchester region or not, they still function as such and therefore need better links to the centre city.

If the north is to function as one city, we need to understand that we operate in a common economic region. There can be no division of towns into Manchester or Liverpool regions, but only the sharing of them between our various centres to improve productivity in all.
I do agree with some of your points but Manchester is not a bigger city than Leeds and Liverpool. To keep suggesting this means there is a flaw in your theory about how these city's have and will develop that, if maintained will lead you to the wrong conclusions regardless of emotion from people in Liverpool to lines such as "As you rightly point out there are many problems of living in London which is vastly bigger than any other UK city. To a lesser extent Manchester suffers from social problems you won't find in smaller cities like Leeds or Liverpool."

I've lived in Manchester and Liverpool, the two places are virtually the same except for the architecture which, sorry Manchester, this is one thing Liverpool wins hands down but that's another debate.

The way in which this country works and thinks, unfortunately is by size. To say Manchester is larger doesn't make it better doesn't matter - if politicians and society thinks it bigger then we automatically attribute success, importance and status to that notion and with it funding, priority and power over those deemed the opposite.

All northern city's have their strengths but a northern 'powerhouse' should consist of all the city's of the north inter-depending and developing. We can't have all commerce in Manchester and leave Liverpool to retail and public sector for example. To dicate things like this as part of a wider plan will become weapons for those with vested interests or bias to jeopardise the whole idea of a northern cooperative powerhouse. Then there is the reality that this country is forever cutting back the state and retail and hospitality pays very little comparatively for those in these industries meaning the opportunity for the city to grow, attract talent and indeed foster talent and provide real, lucrative and sustainable career paths is diminished unless, shock horror, you go and live in Manchester.

All city's should work to the notion that they will play to their strengths, increase and develop areas of their economy that perhaps they're lacking in. Manchester could perhaps look at it's cultural offering. sciences or public sector offering or develop more comprehensively its ports facilities at Salford. Liverpool could look to grow it's commercial and media offering, lure in more blue chip organisations, develop more office space and develop it's connections, particularly rail, perhaps create a sea/airport at Speke on a par with Manchester airport, Leeds could do the same and so on.

London has 5 airports, we need to think the same. Develop each city to it's full potential and cooperate with each other to do so rather than attempt to undermine each other or court favour from London for a larger slice.

Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester all have their individual offering, there own strengths and qualities. Lets build on those and pull up where there is a lacking. Imagine moving to northern England with several centres to choose from, each with an international airport and excellent rail and road links, good standard of living and, as there is choice rather than one blob all-consuming city in the middle one would hope the price of a home/rent would be much more favourable too.
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