Opinion Former Article

CIHT has submitted its response to the Department for Transport’s (DfTs) Devolving Local Major Transport Schemes Consultation.

The Devolving Local Major Transport Schemes consultation reflects the government’s clear ambitions for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the desire to engage businesses and the private sector in the decision making process.

CIHT’s response highlighted its support in devolving decision making for major transport schemes from national to local level, by creating local transport bodies in areas that will typically follow the LEP geographies.

Although CIHT welcomes the principles of this new scheme, the Institution believes the challenge in setting up new local transport bodies should not be underestimated, particularly given the tight deadlines for the new processes to be implemented.

John Smart, CIHT Director of Professional and Business Development said:

“At CIHT we support the shift of power and responsibility from national to local level by creating Local Transport Bodies, as set out in the scheme.”

“We believe these local transport bodies should be democratically accountable and representative. However, it is essential that the development of major schemes fit with existing statutory plans, as it would be inappropriate for local transport bodies to develop new ‘wish lists’ of major schemes that don’t fit with existing development plans and strategies.”

“These local transport bodies will need to be correctly balanced to take account of local circumstances. Encouragement should be given for representatives from other relevant bodies to be involved such as; district councils, the Highways Agency, Network Rail, local Chambers of Commerce and other key transport groups. This would provide transparency in the decision-making process, and accountability to the local community.”

CIHT recognises the concept of a group of local transport bodies working together on larger schemes. However, the Institution believes establishing these consortia will present their own challenges given the disparate nature of the LEP geographies and the inevitable tendency towards parochialism.

In addition, CIHT supports the proposal for the abolition of the £5m threshold for major schemes and agrees that local transport bodies should be free to allocate the devolved funding to smaller (sub-£5m) schemes, particularly as the total funding available to each area will be relatively small.

Notes for Editors

CIHT’s manifesto ‘The Future for Highways & Transportation’ proposes solutions to many of today’s challenges and is available here.

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

CIHT is a membership organisation representing over 12,000 people who work in the highways and transportation sector.

CIHT members plan, design, build, operate and maintain best-in-class transport systems and infrastructure, whilst respecting the imperatives of improving safety, ensuring economic competitiveness and minimising environmental impact.

CIHT supports its member’s professional endeavours by:

• offering training, information, professional development and support

• promoting the value added to society by the profession

• being the focused voice to Governments and other decision makers on transportation expertise and knowledge.


For more information please contact:

Daniel Isichei, Director of Communications, CIHT on t: +44 (0) 20 7336 1567 m: 07912122573 e: Daniel.Isichei@ciht.org.uk




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CIHT is a charity registered in England (1136896) and Scotland (SC040873)  

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