Tobyn Hughes takes on key UTG role as its new Chair

Tobyn Hughes is the new chairman of the Urban Transport Group (UTG) – previously called PTEG.

The MD of Transport Operations for the North East Combined Authority (CA), Mr Hughes follows Dr Jon Lamonte, CEO of Transport for Greater Manchester. Chiars are elected for two years.

The UTG represents Transport for London, North East CA, Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for the West Midlands, West Yorkshire CA, South Yorkshire PTE and Merseytravel.

Its associate members are: Bristol and the West of England, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Nottingham City Council and Tees Valley CA.

Mr Hughes says: “My priority for my term will be to consolidate the role of the UTG as the voice of UK urban transport.

“I would like to pay tribute to Jon Lamonte’s achievements as chair which included a new name for the organisation and bringing Transport for London in as full members in a way that has immeasurably strengthened us as a network.

“An organisation which makes the case for urban transport, which provides thought leadership for the sector and which as a professional network learns from each other whilst saving money for its members through co-procurement.

“I’m very pleased that the Tees Valley CA has now joined us as associate members.

“Tees Valley has much to offer that we can learn from – for example on freight, given the rapid expansion of Teesport and the strengths of the local industrial economy.

“In turn we hope that we can share some of our individual and collective experience, including, for example, on how best to provide local bus services in the context of the new powers that we hope will flow from new buses legislation which is currently before Parliament.

“This is a time of rapid change for urban transport authorities, from responding to technological transformation through to the devolution of more powers, and all at a time when funding is tight.

“It makes sense therefore for transport authorities to work together to tackle these challenges collectively where we can. We are therefore delighted that the Tees Valley CA will be doing just that, and in the process further strengthening the effectiveness of our network.

“We now have seven full members and four associate members which between them serve around 24.5 million people.

“We are always open to dialogue with colleagues in other local transport authorities, which have a significant urban dimension, about the benefits of becoming part of our influential and growing network.”

Cllr Bill Dixon, chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “As a Combined Authority with formal transport responsibilities, there are significant benefits in joining the Urban Transport Group.

“Our membership will ensure that we have a seat on the top table of influence on transport issues.

“We can also tap into a strong pool of expertise and experience as we face the challenge of improving transport services in our area.    Working in partnership and sharing knowledge and expertise, we will help deliver our ambitious plans for better transport links across the Tees Valley.”