Merseyside combined authority endorsed by ITA

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Elected members have endorsed both the idea of a combined authority for the Liverpool City region and a proposed draft scheme for its set up, at a special meeting of the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority on August 15.

It was agreed that establishing a combined authority would formalise strong joint working arrangements between the six districts, allow future funding opportunities to be exploited and enable services to be delivered in a more efficient and effective way.

Members were encouraged to see that the proposals placed transport at the heart of the city region’s high-level decision making structures – recognising the importance of transport considerations in strategic decision making on economic and regeneration matters. They also welcomed the proposal to bring strategic highway management into the remit of the combined authority as a means of delivering a truly integrated transport strategy for the region.

In offering their support, members acknowledged the creation of a combined authority would dissolve the ITA – the political decision making arm of Merseytravel. They are seeking commitment to the proposal made in the draft scheme that a dedicated transport joint committee be set up to provide specialist advice and support to the combined authority.

Chairman of Merseytravel, Cllr Liam Robinson, said: “The proposed measures would put us in the London league, with our transport governance arrangements miles ahead of other City Regions.

“Should a combined authority get the go-ahead, the political, decisionmaking arm of Merseytravel will be subsumed. We are confident we’re well placed to fulfil the role of a new transport joint committee.

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