Agenda item

Transport and Funding Devolution


The Chair introduced a report which included a number of areas for discussion on funding devolution for transport and updated the Board on progress with the agreed priorities which included roads reform, bus reform, active travel and winter weather resilience. 


Kamal Panchal, Senior Advisor, highlighted that in 2010 there had been a welcome consolidation of capital funding for local transport.  The delivery of funding through the Local Growth Fund (LGF)had led to unpredictable outcomes at local level.  Concerns highlighted by councilshad included:


  • All funding for local authority major transport schemes and local sustainable schemes up to 2020/21 would only be included within the Local Growth Fund.
  • The LGF process had increased demand on the workload of local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
  • The emphasis on capital spend had skewed capital priorities.
  • Councils should have had greater involvement in the negotiation process, and were often unclear as to why particular projects had not received capital investment.


The Board noted that the LGA had formally responded to a consultation on future highways maintenance allocation.  They had reiterated concerns expressed by councils that funding should be allocated on a basis which gave maximum certainty at local level, further resources to tackle the backlog of road repairs, and asking that the government have a shared responsibility for funding emergency repairs. 


In response to the recent Cycling Delivery Plan discussion paper, the LGA had proposed to the government that it should follow the lead of councils in adopting a more cross-departmental approach to active travel. 


The Chair highlighted that an announcement on roads investment had been made by the Secretary of State for Transport on the previous day.  The government would be investing £15 billion in 100 new major road schemes over the current and next parliaments.  The Board agreed that councils, in conjunction with Local Enterprise Partnerships, should request to be consulted on how this investment would be spent. 


In the discussion which followed, members made a number of comments, including:


  • Transport was essential for devolution, and this had been shown in city deal negotiations.  
  • There should be consideration given to the different nature of transport needs in urban and rural areas.  LGA policy on transport devolution should consider all varieties of area.
  • There should be more work done on community transport, especially in rural areas where elderly people could easily become isolated without regular bus services, as they were often unable to walk long distances or cycle. 
  • The NHS had a role in provision of community transport, specifically regarding non-emergency patient transport. 
  • Devolved transport powers, such as those devolved to Transport for London, and Oyster card style schemes in city regions should be strongly encouraged.


The Chair confirmed that a meeting with John Hayes MP, Department for Transport minister, had been offered to discuss local transport issues including the relationship with the strategic roads network. 


The Board also agreed that a new Task and Finish Group on Community Transport, allied to the work on buses, should be formed. 





Members noted the report.


The Department for Transport should consult councils, in conjunction with LEPs, regarding investment in major new road schemes. 


A Task and Finish Group on Community Transport to be formed.Members to include Cllr Deborah Croney and Cllr James Lewis.


The Chair / Lead Members to meet with John Hayes MP (Department for Transport) to discuss local transport issues, including relationship with the strategic roads network. 




Cllr Roger Symonds, Cllr Deborah Croney, Cllr Julian German and Cllr Brenda Arthur to be appointed to the Task and Finish Group on Active Travel.


Political Groups to make appointments to Task and Finish Group on Community Transport and first meeting to be arranged. 

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