Chair appointed for combined authority’s transport delivery committee

New appointments aim to boost improvements in public transport.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has appointed Cllr Richard Worrall as chair of its transport delivery committee. Cllr Worrall (Lab Walsall) will head up the 19-strong committee which has been tasked with overseeing the work of Transport for West Midlands – the authority’s transport arm.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, transport lead on the WMCA, said: “Transport has a key role to play in supporting the authority’s targets for economic growth, job creation and cleaner air. The committee’s role in supporting the implementation of the authority’s transport policy and schemes is a valuable one and Richard has the necessary knowledge and experience to serve as its chair.”

Other portfolio positions on the TDC will continued to be filled by the same members who held those roles when it served the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, which was dissolved last month when it was absorbed into the new combined authority.

Cllr Worrall also leads on network accessibility and committee vice-chair Cllr Philip Davis (Lab B’ham) leads on finance and delivery. Cllr Kath Hartley (Lab B’ham) is TDC lead for putting passengers first, Cllr Roger Horton (Lab Sandwell) is lead for rail and metro, and Cllr Judith Rowley (Lab Wolverhampton) is lead for fair and safe transport.

Cllr Worrall said: “The reappointment of these main portfolio leads means there is continuity of expertise within those briefs which is a real asset. As chair of the committee we will be working hard together to bring some real improvements for passengers and help the combined authority deliver the transport infrastructure needed to underpin our region’s future economic prosperity.”

Cllr Worrall was chair of the former West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority between 1992 and 2004 and was closely involved with the introduction of the Midland Metro Line 1, the opening of the Jewellery Line reconnecting cross-city connections between Moor Street, the new interchange station at Smethwick Galton Bridge and the re-opening of the Chase Line linking Walsall to Rugeley.

More recently he has used several thousand pounds of his councillor’s allowance to fund the restoration of bus services in Rushall, Walsall, and was instrumental in organising the national Love the Bus Pass campaign which attracted more than 200,000 signatures from people all over England, calling on the government to retain free bus travel for older people.