THE Mayor of Greater Manchester has called on the government to award him more powers to tackle the region's transport problems.

Andy Burnham asked the government to handover powers over Highways England, the rail franchises and local road networks.

Mr Burnham said: “Congestion has reached a tipping point – it’s causing major problems across Greater Manchester, making people late for jobs, school and even footballers late for their matches.

“It’s also affecting the quality of the air we breathe, which is a major public health issue, contributing to 1,200 deaths a year.

“We’ve been tasked by the Government to deliver a Clean Air Plan which tackles congestion and reduces air pollution, but we cannot deliver this plan without further powers and funding over a range of areas including roadworks, highways and rail.

“Major cities including London, Berlin, Madrid and New York all have these powers, but Manchester lags behind, so I’m calling on Government to give us these powers now and fulfil its promises to the North.”