The RTA is set to expand its remit following cabinet approval of a proposal to widen its terms of reference. Currently, in partnership with the Welsh Government, the RTA’s role is focused on co-ordinating regional transport planning and investment for City Deal-specific programmes. Henceforward, the expanded remit will enable it to play a full role in co-ordinating, aligning and leveraging transport planning and investment for ALL regional strategic programmes. This significant expansion will allow it to progress a more strategic, ambitious and ‘future-proofed’ agenda and begin the process of scoping the powers, levers and tools needed to function optimally in a prospective future Corporate Joint Committee context. Most importantly, it will position the RTA to have a say on the big strategic infrastructure issues of the day – levelling up, under-funding of transport in the region, rail priorities and sustainable active travel.
Some of the specific additional functions added to the remit include:
- Becoming a regional point of co-ordination for complementary Welsh Government and CCR programmes.
- Working towards and providing support for an integrated and effective co-ordination of the Regional Bus Network. This will include consideration of the establishment of a Regional Unit under the support of the CCR, consolidating skills and resources in a combined team to focus exclusively on delivering regional/local bus functions.
- Developing a strategic publication setting out the Regional Rail Priorities for CCR. With the UK Government now exploring the opportunity to “level up” rail investment across the UK– a strategic approach is vital. Work is underway formulating a ‘Strategic Rail Vision and Priorities” for the Cardiff Capital Region’ and the intention is that this document will feed into a CCR ‘Levelling Up’ Prospectus currently being prepared for UK Government consideration in the New Year.
Cllr. Huw David, Chair RTA, CCR Regional Cabinet Board Member and Leader Bridgend County Borough Council said:
“I am delighted that the extension to the RTA remit has been formally approved. It is essential we have high-quality, reliable, efficient and affordable transport services to support sustainable economic development and social regeneration. We now have the ability to play a wider role in driving forward a more strategic and ambitious agenda, maximising the opportunities that are provided by the Levelling Up and Western Gateway initiatives, and the commitments to a Green Industrial Revolution.”