TfWM wins top award at transport ‘Oscars’ for second year running

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has been named best in the UK for the second year running after landing the main award at the transport industry’s equivalent to the Oscars.

TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), took City Region Transport Authority of the Year at last night’s (Thursday October 12) National Transport Awards in London.

The award was in recognition of a number of key projects that TfWM had delivered over the last 12 months including;

  • Birmingham city centre Midland Metro tram extension, which has seen passenger numbers increase by more than two million
  • Collaborative work with Government to put more control of local train services in local hands through West Midlands Rail
  • The innovative Bus Alliance working with private bus companies and local councils to secure a £150 million investment in new, low polluting buses, new bus lanes and other passenger improvements
  • A series of major operations by the region’s Safer Travel Partnership which saw recorded crime on the transport network fall by more than two per cent over the year contributing to a drop in offences from 7.500 a decade ago to just 2,700

Beating tough opposition from other regions attending the ceremony at London’s Westminster Park Plaza Hotel, the award also recognised TfWM’s work in the continuing roll out of the Swift smartcard through a range of new products for local trains, buses and trams. Swift is now the most advanced smartcard in the UK outside London.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, transport lead on the WMCA, said:

“This is the industry’s most coveted award so to win it twice on the bounce is a real achievement and an illustration of the expertise and hard work of our staff at TfWM.

“But it’s important to remember that the projects which landed this award are helping to deliver a far bigger prize for the West Midlands, one of economic growth, more jobs and greater prosperity.

“All successful city regions have comprehensive and efficient transport networks and our long term plans for new tram and rail lines, improved bus services and more cycling and walking will help provide the connectivity we need for a thriving economy.”

TfWM has been tasked with delivering the WMCA’s long term transport strategy ‘Movement for Growth’ which will drive forward more than £4 billion of transport infrastructure over the coming decade.

This includes more tram extensions, new suburban rail lines, cycle routes and better motorways.

Working through TfWM, the combined authority is prioritising the building of those schemes that can best support its wider goals for economic growth, housing and skills.

TfWM’s managing director, Laura Shoaf, who received the award alongside Cllr Lawrence and colleagues, said:

“I’m incredibly proud of our staff for winning this coveted award  especially for the second year running, something that takes hard work and dedication.

“But we must now continue to focus on channelling investment into building the transport infrastructure we need to not only reap the maximum benefits possible from the forthcoming HS2 high speed rail line but give the travelling public and businesses the sort of network they need and deserve.”

Last night’s event, compered by Tony Blair’s former communications strategist and key spokesman, Alastair Campbell, also featured a keynote speech by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

It marked the second major award for TfWM this month. Last week it won, jointly with National Express Midland Metro, the “Most Improved System” at the annual Global Light Rail Awards.

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