LEP Pushing For Scilly And Cornwall Transport Body

LEP wants to influence transport line to the islands

Our islands could have more influence on regional transport projects, including links from the mainland, if Government plans to devolve transport policy come to fruition.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, or LEP, which was set up last year to replace the Regional Development Agency, says it welcomes the Government’s plans and is pushing for a local transport body to be set up, covering Scilly and Cornwall.

The local body would have responsibility for all transport policy in the area.

This comes following an invitation by the Secretary of State for Transport for views on the devolution proposals.

Information released by the LEP states the highest priorities would be the links to the Isles of Scilly, the single carriageways of the A30 and A38 and the “slowness, inappropriate schedules and over-crowding” of the train service.

It goes on to say, “There is no doubt that in the case of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, one of the least economically developed regions in the UK, transport is a critical aspect of, and barrier to, economic development due to our geographical location.”

LEP Manager, Mel Richardson says the LEP wants the new local transport bodies to mirror the areas the LEPs actually cover and if accepted, this would mean that the Isles of Scilly Council would have a seat on the new body.

The Council also have a representative, Chief Executive Philip Hygate, on the LEP itself.

However, there remains concern over how much influence our small islands can have over the transport policy of our mainland neighbour.

Mel says this is still only a consultation with local authorities, LEPs and other interested organisations and the LEP hasn’t got into any detail around prioritising one project above the other.

The detailed discussions around a programme of prioritised schemes would begin once the transport bodies were in place.

But she added that the LEP recognises the huge importance of the ferry and air links to the Isles of Scilly and is very supportive of the need to ensure connectivity is maintained or improved.

Craig Dryden, Head of the Council’s Planning and Economic Development Department, said the Isles of Scilly is the only local authority in England without ‘Transport Authority’ status.

Previously, we have worked closely with Cornwall Council for projects such as the failed Route Partnership scheme, but last year, the Council discussed whether they should push for such status.

It would mean the Council could deal directly with Whitehall but it would also mean more regulation here including licensing taxis, bus routes and operators.

However, the proposals being put forward by the LEP could make this redundant.


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