Commons Gate

Local Transport Planning and Funding (HC 1120-ii)

Transport Committee 24 May 2006

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Evidence given by Mr Andy Southern, Director Transport Planning, and Mr Jonathan Spear, Senior Managing Consultant, Atkins Transport Planning, Mr Brian Witten, Divisional Director, and Mr Peter Carden, Divisional Manager, Integrated Transport, Mott MacDonald, Ms Alison Quant, Director of Environment, Hampshire County Council; Dr Ian Harrison, Deputy Director of Environment, Economy and Culture, Mr Tony Matthews, Local Transport Plan Lead, Devon County Council; Mr Roy Newton, Greater Manchester LTP Team, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities; Mr Bob Wilkins, Director of Transport and Environment, East Sussex County Council, County Councils Network; and Mr Graeme Fitton, Chair, Finance Committee (CSS), Head of Transport and Highways, Warwickshire County Council, County Surveyors' Society.

Q124 Mr. David Clelland: If, as was suggested, crossing local authority boundaries sometimes causes a problem with delays, would it be better if there was a bigger authority network for delivering bus lanes and things which cross boundaries?

Mr Witten: That was speculation on my part on the case that was being quoted to me, and local authorities can indeed work well together in certain circumstances. Where there are political differences obviously that can cause delays.

Q125 Chairman: Mr Carden on this.

Mr Carden: There are examples in the large conurbations where authorities do get together to resolve and assist and can formulate conurbation-wide plans for bus corridors very effectively. Going back to the point on consultation, often the delay comes in when the secondary consequences of a piece of infrastructure have not been completely thought through. So putting in a bus lane may be quite easy but replacing residential parking may be much more difficult.


Q151 Mr. David Clelland: Did you find that there is a better focus and more priority given to transport where we have specific transport authorities such as the passenger and transport executive areas or Transport for London than we do in areas where it is merely a matter of general authority to the local council?

Mr Spear: To some extent in the larger conurbations clearly there tend to be some bigger transport issues anyway, and there is certainly a greater capacity in the authorities to deal with those issues. I am not able to comment on how transport priorities are judged to be relative to other priorities in the major conurbations.

Q152 Mr. David Clelland: We have been hearing that transport does not seem to get sufficient priority in some authorities because it is competing with other services, but have you found a difference therefore between those areas where we had transport authorities set up, like the LPT areas as opposed to the shire areas where the county councils were doing that and have all those competing objectives?

Mr Spear: The work we did with weak authorities demonstrates that certainly in some of the small authorities that there was not the political will or the capacity to deal with transport adequately and it is pushed down the agenda.

This is an uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House. The transcript has been placed on the internet on the authority of the Committee. Neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

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