Regional transport bodies, or sub-national transport bodies as they are officially known, are relatively new bodies that are being set up in the regions, to coordinate transport policy and spending. They can bid for a variety of powers, including bus franchising, but in general, much transport infrastructure will continue to be delivered at the local level.
The best known regional body is Transport for London (TfL) which has been around for some time and was established under different legislation. It stands alone in its own right unlike its metropolitan equivalents, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) (the executive arm of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority) and Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) (the executive arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority, centred around Birmingham) which confusingly are not regional transport bodies but are members of Transport for the North and Midlands Connect respectively.
Since 2016, the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 paved the way for a new wave of regional transport bodies to be set up.
- Transport for the North - received its statutory status in 2018.
- Midlands Connect
- Transport for the South East
- England's Economic Heartland
- Transport East
- Peninsula Transport
- Western Gateway
Only Transport for the North has received statutory status, the others are in effect operating in shadow form. Despite the Government's enthusiasm for these bodies having waned to some extent, it is still still working with them.
Therefore, it makes sense for people or organisations with an interest in transport to get involved with these bodies. Given the difficulty for an organisation covering a small geographical area to engage with a regional body, we're keen to help people work together to form a network (informally or formally) to give the issues important to them a voice at this strategic level. Otherwise, there's a danger the regional transport body will focus on big road and rail projects to the exclusion of much else.
If you are working in a region and would like to hook up with others or would like some help setting something up, please get in touch.
Click on the Regional Transport Bodies' logos below or use the menu to the left for more information on each area.