Local transport bodies 'a step closer'

Bristol Evening Post: 1 February 2012

MINISTERS are to hand control of major transport schemes to local bodies – boosting hopes of a regional authority for Greater Bristol.

Campaigners say a transport authority covering the city and surrounding area is needed to sort out longstanding problems.

Yesterday the government said all schemes costing more than £5 million would be devolved to "local transport bodies" from 2015.

They would be expected to have the same boundaries as Local Enterprise Partnerships, the business-led groups in charge of economic growth which have replaced axed regional development agencies.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening, said the organisations could decide on new roads, public transport schemes, better pedestrian routes, and new railway stations.

She said: "These proposals could hand real power to communities so they can make locally accountable decisions on what transport improvements are needed in their area."

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