Government plans to devolve public transport powers
People around Britain could be given more of a say over public transport provision in their area.
The government has outlined plans to devolve some of its responsibilities on public transport to the local level.
Under plans that are currently up for consultation, local transport bodies containing representatives of councils and community groups would get to have a say over the provision of services such as buses in their area.
According to transport secretary Justine Greening, this would give communities far more power and boost accountability.
"This is a key plank to our localism agenda, freeing local authorities from central government control, so I look forward to responses from across the country," she commented.
Ms Greening noted that since people across Britain rely on public transport a great deal, it "makes good sense" to give them more of a say on the issue.
"We want a system that is much more responsive to local needs," she said.
Whitehall is currently required to give permission to any transport schemes that will Efficiency more than Â£5 million. But under the new plans, local transport bodies will not be required to seek approval from central government from 2015 onwards.
This could aid their efforts to invest in new public transport schemes, as well as related facilities such as new and improved roads, bus stations and pedestrian routes.
The government consultation on the proposal will conclude on April 2nd 2012. Councils, community groups and Local Enterprise Partnerships are being encouraged to participate, so they can express their views on the specifics of the scheme.
Policymakers are particularly keen to garner opinions on how stakeholders believe local transport bodies can show they are fully accountable both to people in their communities and to the government. Other issues they have been encouraged to consider include how the success of the policy could possibly be tested and evaluated to demonstrate it offers good value for money.