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STBs to bid for statutory status


23 March 2020

Some of England’s non-statutory sub-national transport bodies are preparing applications to the Government for statutory powers, undeterred by the DfT’s message last year that it had no plans to authorise further statutory STBs at this stage. 

Transport for the South East  (TfSE) will seek a range of powers, though it has dropped a request for bus franchising.

England’s Economic Heartland is also to apply for statutory status but will seek a more limited set of powers, keen to only hold those it has a clear need to use.  

TfSE’s proposed powers cover:

  • preparation of a transport strategy?
  • being consulted on rail franchising and setting the overall objectives for the rail network in the TfSE area 
  • jointly setting the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) for the TfSE area with the Government
  • obtaining certain highways powers that would operate concurrently and with the consent of the current highway authority, to enable regionally significant highways schemes to be expedited?
  • securing the provision of bus services and entering into quality bus partnerships
  • introducing integrated ticketing schemes 
  • establishing clean air zones with the power to charge high polluting vehicles for using the highway
  • the power to promote or oppose Bills in Parliament
  • incidental powers to enable TfSE to act as a type of local authority

Many of the proposed powers would operate concurrently to those of the constituent authorities. Where exercised by TfSE they would need the consent of the constituent authority or authorities. 

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