Urban Transport Group: The voice of UK urban transport
20 June 2016 • Author(s): Jon Lamonte, Chair, Urban Transport Group
The launch of the Urban Transport Group in early-2016 represented far more than a rebrand from its former name, pteg (the Passenger Transport Executive Group). It demonstrates the significance of changes over the past five years in transport responsibilities and governance in the UK’s major city regions. Chair Jon Lamonte explains what the changes mean and how the Urban Transport Group will move forward as the voice of urban transport in the UK.
During the past five years the core tasks of the Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) expanded from developing passenger transport services for the largest city regions to creating holistic urban and regional transport systems which are at the heart of a wider agenda to drive economic growth and higher quality of life.
This shift could be seen in the formation of the country’s first Combined Authority in Greater Manchester in 2011 whose powers were subsequently enhanced by a series of devolution deals with central Government. This process has been replicated in other city regions and is now being taken to the next level with the creation of Mayoral Combined Authorities for which the first round of elections are due in May 2017. As part of this ongoing process the status, role and name of the PTEs has also changed. Some have been abolished as separate legal entities, others have been rebranded – but all are now working closely with their Combined Authority to ensure that transport planning is fully embedded within wider social, environmental and economic plans.
As well as marking the way in which the major city regions outside London are changing, the rebranding as Urban Transport Group also saw Transport for London (TfL) joining us as full members which strengthens the network immeasurably and means that we are now truly the voice of urban transport in the UK.