New regional transport body being prepared


Ground is being prepared for a new sub-national transport (STB) body covering a south western belt of England following advice from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Gloucester County Council has revealed it is considering creating a STB in partnership with councils including Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Poole and Bournemouth.

A cabinet meeting is scheduled for 6 June, where councillors will 'consider entering into an agreement with transport authorities across the South West and the principle of establishing a Sub-National Transport Body in the South West of England'.


Sub-national transport bodies have very limited powers - only Transport for the North has been made a statutory body - but play a key strategic role in the current transport landscape.

Government expects STBs to produce strategic transport plans, which could include rail schemes and investments in the wider highway corridors that exist across council boundaries.

While DfT has previously said not every region has to have a STB, it has become increasingly clear, particularly following the major road network plans released by the department, that they are being lined up to help oversee and organise regional investments in transport schemes.

Gloucester County Council also said it has been advised by DfT to consider the plans. 

Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for economy, skills and growth is putting the motion forward, said: 'I’m confident that cabinet will see the benefits in creating a sub-national transport body. A strong united partnership across western England would influence government thinking and promote investment in transport schemes that will make a positive difference for Gloucestershire.'

Nationally four STBs have been formed. These are Transport for the North, Transport for the South East, Midlands Connect and England’s Economic Heartland. Work has also begun to create a SNTB for West Anglia and one for the South West Peninsula which includes Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

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