South West transport inquiry continues

26 October 2009

The South West Regional Select Committee is in Bristol today to hear the views of various campaign groups, companies, local authorities and transport operators as part of its inquiry into transport in the south west of England

The inquiry has already sparked considerable interest in the south west with over 90 different groups submitting written evidence to the Committee. This is the biggest response yet received by any regional select committee inquiry, House of Commons officials have confirmed.

Chair of the South West Select Committee Alison Seabeck MP said:

"The south west often feels left behind when it comes to investment in transport.

"Our Committee wants to make a difference by highlighting the region's particular transport needs and gathering ideas on how to improve the way we get around.

"We want to find out what needs to be done to ensure the region gets a transport system fit for the twenty first century - one that is safe, affordable and environmentally friendly.

"I am delighted with the large number of responses we have had so far - the inquiry really seems to have struck a chord with people in the south west."

There will be two panels of witnesses at the hearing in Bristol today.

The witnesses are:

10.30 am: national transport policy:

  • Travel Watch Southwest
  • Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
  • Institute of Directors
  • Friends of the Earth

11.30 am: urban and suburban transport

  • West of England Partnership
  • Plymouth City Council
  • First Group UK Bus Division
  • Campaign for Better Transport (Bristol and Bath)
  • Sustrans
  • Regional Director of Public Health

The Committee wants views on the following issues:

  • whether transport provision in the south west is adequate to meet the demands placed upon the region
  • what the priorities should be for improvement
  • how these priorities should be reflected in the upcoming Regional Transport Strategy
  • what the costs of these improvements would be and whether the region can afford them
  • whether the current arrangements for prioritising, approving and funding infrastructure projects are effective and appropriate
  • whether the region is doing enough to promote environmentally friendly transport
  • the role and effectiveness of regional bodies, such as the Regional Development Agency and South West Councils, in identifying and addressing transport issues
  • the role and effectiveness of the Government Office for the South West in delivering national transport policy within the region
  • the ability of the Government to influence private sector transport providers

A transcript of the evidence session will be available on the Committee's website later this week.

Image: iStockphoto

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