A new West Midlands authority to drive investment in transport projects has been formally launched.
The inaugural meeting in Birmingham saw the political leaders of the West Midland's seven metropolitan councils appointed as the new West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA).
They are: Coun Sir Albert Bore (Birmingham); Coun Ann Lucas (Coventry); Coun David Sparks (Dudley); Coun Darren Cooper (Sandwell); Coun Bob Sleigh (Solihull); Coun Mike Bird (Walsall); and Coun Roger Lawrence (Wolverhampton).
The group is responsible for transport strategy, budgets, scheme prioritisation and bids for funding.
The ITA said the move was aimed at ensuring the metropolitan area acted in a unified way on transport and could punch its collective weight when seeking funding for rail, tram and road schemes which could grow the economy.
Cllr Lawrence has been appointed as chairman of the ITA with Cllr Sleigh as vice-chairman.
Cllr Lawrence said: "With the setting up of the three LEPs, it became clear we needed a new governance structure - one that was capable of bringing the various parties together in the interests of the whole region.
"I believe this new ITA can do just that. Not only are the seven leaders also members of their respective LEPs but the LEP chairmen will be able to join us on the ITA.
"This new authority, working with the LEPs and local councils, will enable us to speak with one voice on transport and help the region deliver those schemes that can best secure our plans for economic growth."
Centro, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, will continue to deliver transport projects while working with bus, rail and tram operators to improve services and infrastructure for passengers.
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