Laura Shoaf gets top West Midlands transport job
Council leaders have named the person chosen to head up a new West Midlands transport body.
Laura Shoaf will be managing director at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) with a remit to work with the West Midlands Combined Authority and transform public transport across the region.
Her appointment was confirmed at the final meeting of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (WMITA) before it is dissolved and incorporated into WMCA which starts work tomorrow.
Ms Shoaf, highly regarded in local government and transport circles, has been strategic director at Centro, the West Midlands passenger transport authority, since November 2014. Before that she was director of transport for the Black Country.
In her new role Ms Shoaf will be responsible for guiding and delivering WMCA’s transport strategy to develop a network that fully integrates the region’s road, rail, bus and tram systems. Expansion of the Midland Metro tram system including a line from Birmingham city centre to Birmingham Airport and the NEC, is seen as a priority.
ITA chair Cllr Roger Lawrence, who is also the leader of Wolverhampton council, said:
Laura’s experience and knowledge have already served the ITA well.
We believe she is the ideal person to lead TfWM in its work to deliver the combined authority’s transport strategy.
Having an effective and affordable transport network is crucial if we are to generate further economic growth and connect people to wider job, training and educational opportunities. Doing so will increase prosperity and ultimately people’s quality of life.
Ms Shoaf said:
In forming the new combined authority the leaders have set out a very exciting vision for transport and I’m thrilled to be given an opportunity to play a part in that.
There is a lot of hard work ahead but with the wider West Midlands now working together as a combined authority I believe we can realise those ambitions for the benefit of the whole region.
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