Laura Shoaf, Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), has been appointed Chair of the Urban Transport Group (UTG). She was previously UTG Vice-Chair.
Laura Shoaf is the first female leader of UTG and she brings over 20 years’ experience leading in urban transport planning, both in the UK and in her native United States.
Laura became MD of TfWM in 2016, having previously held other senior public sector transport roles in the West Midlands. She was recently shortlisted in the Everywoman awards for transport and logistics as a leader in her field.
Her appointment follows the end of the two-year tenure of outgoing Chair Stephen Edwards. He is Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).
Says Laura: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to chair UTG and to work with colleagues from across city regions to meet both the challenge of the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing transformation of urban transport networks.
“During the pandemic, UTG is proving its worth more than ever, with extensive daily liaison on the multiple operational and financial challenges that all its members face. It has been, and will continue to be, invaluable to collaborate on these problems and to be able to make common representations to government to secure the funding and policy support that we need.
“Alongside our response to COVID-19, we as a network are also delivering on the strong consensus on the need for high quality, integrated urban public transport networks that can support the greener, healthier and more prosperous city regions that we want to see.
“Our members are at the heart of delivering programmes to achieve that, including extensive investment in better bus and rail services, as well as in making active travel easier and more attractive.”
In representing city region transport authorities, UTG’s board is made up of one Director from each of its seven full members: Merseytravel, Nexus, SYPTE, Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for London, TfWM and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.