New transport authority
Leaders of the seven West Midlands councils, as the Joint Committee, have agreed to become the new Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) for the metropolitan area. They will decide on transport strategy and which schemes should be given priority with an emphasis put on those that can best underpin economic regeneration. The leaders will also take responsibility for seeking new investment on transport. The ITA will comprise of Cllr Roger Lawrence (Wolverhampton), Cllr Ann Lucas (Coventry), Cllr Darren Cooper (Sandwell), Cllr Sir Albert Bore (Birmingham), Cllr David Sparks (Dudley), Cllr Ken Meeson (Solihull) and Cllr Mike Bird (Walsall). The decision by the leaders will now go before Government for consideration.
The leaders will now invite the chairs of each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire – to join the new ITA. The existing ITA, made up of 27 councillors from the seven districts, will continue in its role of overseeing the delivery of day-to-day transport matters. Centro, as the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, will continue to deliver transport projects across the region while working with operators to further improve services and infrastructure for passengers.