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Regions to lead integrated transport strategy

THE GOVERNMENT'S plan for further devolution of decision-making on transport policy was spelled out by the Department of Transport Environment and the Regions last week.

DETR head of local transport plans Mike Jackson said new regional planning bodies would work with regional development agencies to provide a link between the Government's integrated transport strategy and local transport planning.

His paper, presented to last week's Association of Municipal Engineers conference, says: 'Regional planning bodies, working with the nine regional development agencies and other partners, will prepare regional transport strategies. These will provide the link between the national framework set out in the White Paper and LTPs.

Jackson pointed out that the RPBs will have great influence over transport policy. 'They will set the regional priorities for transport investment and management across all modes, and provide the strategic context for demand management measures, such as the road user and workplace charging,' he added.

Municipal engineers welcomed the forming of RPBs. Douglas Pigg, South Tyneside director of development services, said: 'Regional planning bodies will bring together planning of economic development, transport and land use under one strategic body.'

'Local authorities have already started to collaborate in the forming of local transport plans, regional planning guidance and economic development plans,' he added.

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