Devolution Bill to allow creation of regional transport bodies


Local authority alliances will be given powers to establish statutory regional transport bodies under forthcoming amendments to the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill.

Speaking at a second reading of the Bill in the Commons this week, communities secretary, Greg Clark, told MPs: 'We intend that the Bill will also allow for the creation of sub-national transport bodies, Transport for the North being one, so we will want to reflect the powers to enable such bodies to be established.'

Department for Transport (DfT) officials told Transport Network that the Government intends to table the detailed amendments shortly.

A DfT spokesperson said: ‘The Government committed in the 2015 Summer Budget to making Transport for the North a statutory body with legal powers and duties.

Greg Clark: From regionalism to localism back to regionalism?

‘By quickly legislating to provide for sub-national transport bodies, we are bringing momentum to this vital new organisation – and potentially others around the country. This is a major milestone towards transforming northern transport, creating a Northern Powerhouse, rebalancing the economy and delivering devolution.’

The move could re-establish a level of wider transport planning that was removed with the abolition of the previous Labour government’s nine English Regional Development Agencies.

Many in the sector have argued that the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships never filled the gap left by the dissolution of those bodies.

Midlands Connect, the partnership of local authorities championing better road and rail links across the Midlands, has already welcomed the move and revealed it will consider being placed on a statutory footing.

Cllr Jon Collins, co-chair of the Midlands Connect Partnership and leader of Nottingham City Council, said: ‘We welcome this announcement and we will now sit down together and with Government to explore the options.

‘Our existing partnership arrangements have already proved successful in raising the profile of the Midlands with Government. Moving to a more formal arrangement may help us speak with one voice on transport and open up some good opportunities in terms of having far more control and influence over the development of our infrastructure.’

Speaking to Transport Network, Andrew Pritchard, director of policy and infrastructure at East Midlands Councils suggested interest in moving to a more regional basis was prompted in part by the need to compete for funding under the current government.

Conservative leaders have been keen to use competitive bidding, through the Local Growth Fund for instance, to help incentivise improvements in local strategies.

Lord Heseltine, Tory grandee and architect of the pooled Local Growth Fund, argued that such a system would focus the mind on producing better bids and help identify those areas that are struggling.

As well as the Local Growth Fund creating more regional competition between LEPs, money for highways is also subject to a bidding process for the Challenge Fund as well as a self assessment scheme that punishes underperforming councils.

Mr Pritchard said: ‘We are in a very competitive environment. We have London to the south and Transport for the North, which is having a lot of traction with government. We need to make sure we don’t miss out.

‘The [government] agenda is having an impact on the way we do things. If you are to effectively compete for resources you need to do things differently. We recognise if we are to compete for funding we have to take a more collaborative approach.’

The Bill passed its second reading without a division and will now be considered by a Committee of the whole House.


Also see

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Project Engineer (Permanent)

Havant Borough Council
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Project Engineer (Fixed Term)

Havant Borough Council
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Contract Supervisor

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,013 - £36,486 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
The role of Contract Supervisor (Waste and Street Cleansing) will require you to support ambitious plans to provide services for residents Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Flood Risk Manager

Birmingham City Council
£43,662 - £54,574
The role requires the post holder to be the lead professional for the Authority’s Flood Risk Management and drainage function Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Head of Highways & Transport

Lewisham London Borough Council
up to £72,705
As our lead expert on highways and transport, you will set the direction and lead on all transport related matters Lewisham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lewisham London Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director

Hounslow London Borough Council
Up to £82k
Working across a wide range of high profile direct services, the emphasis for this role is on partnership working. Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Head of Parks and Environmental Services

Harrogate Borough Council
£58,778 - £61,882
You will have experience at a senior level in the management and delivery of front line services relevant to the functions Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Harrogate Borough Council

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Principal Transport Planner – 2 posts (Warrington Waterfront Western Link)

Warrington Borough Council
£40,760 - £43,662 plus essential car user allowance
We are looking to form a new Warrington Waterfront Western Link Team and we are looking to fill a number of key posts Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Highways Manager

Oxford Direct Services
Oxford Direct Services
Recuriter: Oxford Direct Services

Data Entry Administrator

Telford & Wrekin Council
£18,795 - £19,171
Telford & Wrekin’s Public Protection Service is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Data Entry Administrator Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council