Berkshire Strategic Transport Forum
The Berkshire Strategic Transport Forum brings together the LEP, the six local transport authorities, DfT, Network Rail, Highways England, Heathrow Airport Limited, and various train and bus operating companies to discuss and consult on matters of mutual interest relating to strategic transport issues in Thames Valley Berkshire. It straddles the strategic, technical and operational, and thus makes a significant contribution to the formation and implementation of the SEP.
Chairmanship of the BSTF alternates between Cllr Tony Page (Reading Borough Council) and Charles Eales (Microsoft and LEP Forum Member).
Berkshire Local Transport Body
The Berkshire Local Transport Body was established in March 2013 in response to the Department for Transport’s wish to devolve Local Transport Major Schemes Capital Funding to local control. In July 2014, the LEP Forum agreed to continue with the BLTB, as the competent body to a) prioritise and b) implement transport capital schemes on its behalf. In practice the LEP will accept any BLTB recommendations or refer them back but will not substitute its own recommendations.
The Body consists of six elected members (usually the lead member for transport or related portfolio), and six private sector representatives recruited and appointed by the LEP. It oversees the work of independent assessors that scrutinise transport schemes in accordance with the DfT approved Assurance Framework. The work of the BLTB is itself informed by the Berkshire Strategic Transport Forum (BSTF).
The BLTB and the BSTF have the same membership, which deploys either as a publicly accountable Joint Committee (the BLTB) or as the transport policy arm of the LEP (the BSTF).