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					      Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority
                    Scrutiny Advisory Committee

                           17th September, 2009



1.       Summary / Purpose of Report

1.1      To inform members of current and emerging arrangements at the Tyne and Wear
         City Region level regarding transport and the economy, and relationships with the
         Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (ITA).

2.       Recommendation

2.1      Members are asked to comment on any of the issues set out in the report.

3.       Background

3.1      At its last meeting, the Integrated Transport Authority Scrutiny Advisory
         Committee (ITA SAC) agreed a new approach to working, with theme based
         meetings focused on the five national transport goals as set out in Delivering a
         Sustainable Transport System (DaSTS, 2008). This meeting focuses on the
         DaSTS goal of “supporting national economic competitiveness and growth, by
         delivering reliable and efficient transport networks”.

3.2      Transport plays a key role in supporting economic growth, as highlighted in the
         Eddington Transport Study (2006) and DaSTS. The ITA has a central role to play
         in transport planning across the five Tyne and Wear Districts through its
         responsibility for production and implementation of the Tyne and Wear Local
         Transport Plan (LTP). However, transport strategy and policy is also made at the
         national level, the regional level and the City Regional Level. This report
         considers the role of the City Region in the transport strategy framework,
         influencing and coordinating transport planning to encourage and support
         economic growth across City Region.
4.    The Tyne and Wear City Region

4.1   The Tyne and Wear City Region is a non-statutory partnership of all five Tyne and
      Wear local authorities, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside and
      South Tyneside, together with Northumberland and Durham. The Partnership also
      includes the business community, voluntary and community sector and regional
      partners. It exists to help build closer and stronger relationships between these
      partners to strengthen the economy and help the City Region compete both
      domestically and internationally.

4.2   A Tyne and Wear City Region interim Executive Board has been established, and
      comprises local authority leaders/elected mayor, the private, voluntary and
      community sectors, One North East, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and
      Government Office North East (GONE). A City Region office has also been
      established, led by a City Region Director, to support the Executive Board and
      tasked with delivering the Tyne and Wear Multi Area Agreement.

5.    Multi Area Agreement (MAA)

5.1   A Multi-Area Agreement (MAA) is a non-statutory framework in which adjoining
      local authorities work in partnership (although two statutory MAAs are to be trialed
      in Leeds and Manchester). Through MAAs, local authorities can go beyond their
      administrative boundaries to work in a more strategic and coordinated way. An
      MAA is formed through a voluntary agreement between local authorities who
      enter into a contract with central government, but rather than instructions coming
      from the top, MAAs work from the bottom up.

5.2   The Tyne and Wear City Region MAA was signed in July 2008 and seeks to
      strengthen the public, private, voluntary and community sector partnership formed
      through the Tyne and Wear City Region. Particular challenges are identified
      where the MAA can add significant value to strengthening the City Region
      economy - these challenges are skills and employment and transport.

5.3   The MAA lays down 11 „asks‟ of Government aimed at changing existing
      relationships between Central Government and Local Government, with six of
      these asks regarding transport. These transport asks cover issues such as:

         Improvements to the A1 and A19, and strengthened collaboration between the
          Highways Agency and the City Region;

         Ensuring that the appropriate policy and legislative environment exists to
          facilitate any changes resulting from the Tyne and Wear City Region
          Governance Review (discussed below);

         Flexibility in statutory provisions and funding mechanisms for planning and
          managing the local transport network; and

         Recognition of the City Region as a consultee on rail policy and to facilitate
          strategic dialogue between the City Region and rail operators.

5.4   The Tyne and Wear City Region MAA is overseen by the City Region Executive
      Board, with day to day delivery managed by the City Region office.
6.    City Region Transport Governance Review

6.1   In 2008 the City Region Executive Board commissioned a review of options for
      improving transport governance in the Tyne and Wear City Region, with a view to
      ensuring that transport strategy makes a full contribution to the wider economic,
      social and environmental agenda. This review is now in its final stages, with a
      report setting out recommendations for changes to transport governance
      arrangements to be considered by the City Region Executive Board in November.

6.2   Key advantages of adapting current working arrangements in line with the findings
      of the review will be;

         Improved strategy delivery for transport across Tyne and Wear through
          stronger coordination of policies and programmes by the ITA;

         Stronger links to wider public policy agendas – especially economic strategy -
          through clearer relationships between the ITA and City Region Executive

         Enhanced coordination of transport strategy across the travel-to-work area
          through stronger joint working and decision-making with Durham and

6.3   Through these improvements, Tyne and Wear will be in a stronger position to
      address some of the key policy issues in future years such as: economic
      development and employment; access to jobs and services by all modes of
      transport; congestion and demand management; and climate change.

6.4   At this stage, there is no requirement for statutory changes as a result of
      Governance review proposals, as new working arrangements could be developed
      under existing powers and through strengthened partnership working.

7.    City Region Transport Strategy

7.1   Through the MAA, it is proposed to develop a City Region Transport Strategy
      setting out a co-ordinated set of transport investment priorities across local
      transport plans for Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham. The strategy
      would also link into the City Region economic strategy, the emerging Integrated
      Regional Strategy (IRS) and regional transport investment plans.

7.2   The role of a City Region Transport Strategy has also been considered as part of
      the City Region Transport Governance Review, and forms a key element of the
      proposed future transport framework for Tyne and Wear.

7.3   Preparatory work is currently underway for the development of a City Region
      Transport Strategy. Given the strong linkages between this strategy and other
      transport plans (i.e. IRS, LTP), there is a clear need for coordination between the
      City Region and other partners to ensure that each strategy/plan is
      complementary to one another and contributes to the shared goal of supporting
      economic competitiveness and growth through reliable and efficient transport
8.         Conclusion

8.1        Whilst the ITA has a statutory responsibility for the Tyne and Wear LTP in
           partnership with district authorities, the City Region adds value by strengthening
           alignment across neighbouring local transport authorities and through the
           identification of high level investment priorities to support economic development

8.2        Further updates on City Region transport issues, including the Governance
           Review, MAA and City Region Transport Strategy will be brought to the ITA and
           ITA SAC as further proposals emerge. It is important that the ITA is fully engaged
           in discussions at the City Region level, and that future City Region governance
           proposals and transport strategies reflect the objectives and policies of the ITA.

9.         Background Papers

9.1        Tyne and Wear City Region Business Case -

9.2        Tyne and Wear City Region Multi Area Agreement -

Contact Officer:   Scott Vincent, ITA Senior Policy Officer - ph. 0191 211 5679

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