Transport chiefs demanded more freedom from Government control yesterday, as they warned a House of Commons hearing they were unable to deliver the services the West Midlands needs.
They were barred from building new roads even when it was the only way to ease congestion, they said.
Officials from the region also called for better funding - claiming the West Midlands should receive extra resources because it is at the centre of t he nation's transport network.
The claims were made in a hearing of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee, which is looking into the funding and planning of public transport.
Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils submitted evidence through a body representing planning officers from every authority.
The committee, chaired by Labour MP Gwyneth Dun-woody, quizzed Trevor Errington, leader of West Midlands local authorities' chief engineers & planning officers group.
He said: "We need more trust in local authorities to deliver a transport agenda which is less prescriptive."
The "one size fits all" guidance from the Government made it difficult to develop a transport plan "that clearly reflects local needs and priorities," he said.
In written evidence submitted to the committee, he said limited road-building could sometimes be the best way to deal with congestion. Deregulation of bus services made it difficult for councils to encourage people to use public transport, he added.
He also warned that the West Midlands needed more funding.
Tom Magrath, projects director of Centro, told the committee the process of gaining approval for the planned metro extension had been "frustratingly slow".
So far £16 million has been spent on consultation, planning and a public inquiry in preparation for the metro, expected to cost £430 million.