The Association of Black Country Authorities (ABCA), which includes Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils, has appointed Laura Shoaf to take strategic responsibility for transport across the region.

As Black Country Transport Director, Laura will provide overall leadership for the Black Country's transport agenda, ensure that transport priorities are properly integrated with the Black Country Economic Strategy and act as the key link to the Department for Transport and central Government.

Councillor Roger Lawrence, the Leader of Wolverhampton City Council and ABCA's Lead Member for Transport, said: "Transportation is the lifeblood of the Black Country's economy - and it doesn't stop at municipal boundaries.

"When you consider that the Black Country transport network copes with the movement demands of 36,000 local businesses and three million people within 20 miles, a strategic approach is essential.

"The four Black Country councils agree that we can achieve more in terms of transport infrastructure improvements if we work together. Our joint appointment of Laura Shoaf as the Black Country's first Transport Director is a clear sign of our commitment to improving our transport network.

"Laura brings with her a wealth of experience gained from her role as Head of Strategic Planning for the Black Country Consortium.

"She has a deep understanding of the importance that a more efficient, more effective and more reliable transport network will have for the economic growth."

He added: "The ABCA is determined to attract high-quality jobs to the Black Country. To achieve that, we have to make sure that businesses can get their employees to and from the workplace as efficiently as possible - and distribute their products to regional, national and international markets.

"An integrated, strategic approach to transport is key."

  • released: Monday 22 April, 2013