Transport Forum meets for the first time

Edinburgh's brand new Transport Forum had its first ever meeting yesterday [20 December 2012].

Three dozen people gathered at the City Chambers for the inaugural session of the new body, which will meet four times a year.

The Forum is chaired by Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds and its membership is made up of the following: Transport Vice Convener Councillor Jim Orr;  Transport spokespeople from each of the opposition parties on the City of Edinburgh Council; representatives nominated by the six neighbourhood offices; six members of the public who applied to be part of the Forum and a representative from the following organisations: Lothian Buses (representing other bus operators); Chamber of Commerce; Federation of Small Businesses; Essential Edinburgh or Marketing Edinburgh; NHS Lothian; Edinburgh Living Streets Group; Spokes; Bus Users Group; Edinburgh Airport; Transport Research Institute; Institute of Advanced Motorists or the AA; Rail Users Group; Edinburgh Transport Access Forum; and Transform Scotland.

At its initial meeting, the Transport Forum considered the main issues up for discussion in the draft Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019, which will go out for formal consultation early in the new year.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener, said: "The new Transport Forum will play an instrumental role in shaping solutions to Edinburgh's future transport needs. Yesterday's inaugural meeting got the Forum off to a very positive start with some very interesting contributions and viewpoints on the table.

"Assembling such a broad cross section of individuals with a personal or organisational interest in the Capital's transport priorities means that any future decisions the Council makes on transport issues will be informed by a diverse range of considered views."

In their Coalition Agreement, the Capital Coalition pledged to set up a citywide Transport Forum made up of experts, interested parties and citizens giving a greater voice to stakeholders and users of Edinburgh's transport network.

The Transport Forum will act as an advisory and consultative body, and members will be able to communicate effectively, take a city-wide view, work effectively with others, make decisions based on available information and maintain confidentiality.

The Forum's progress, activity and performance will be reported annually by the Director of Services for Communities to the Transport and Environment Committee or the Policy Review and Development Sub-Committee as appropriate. The Forum will be reviewed after the first year.

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