Orders made for first PTAs
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• Orders designating the first four Passenger Transport Areas under the Transport Act 1968 have now been made by Mr. Richard Marsh. These are Merseyside, South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire (SEL NEC). Tyneside and the West Midlands, where PTA will be set up, as expected, on April 1 1969.
The composition of the four Areas and the membership of Authorities is based on proposals announced by the Minister on October 30 last (CM November 8) when he formally consulted the local authorities concerned. He has decided that the areas should be as published then but with certain changes in membership in the Merseyside and SELNEC PTAs.
The importance of appointing an Executive as quickly as possible after the Passenger Transport Authority has been set up is stressed in the letter to local authorities giving details of the Minister's decision. This is to minimize any uncertainties, particularly in the municipal undertakings which will be taken over about what will happen once the Author
ity and Executive take full control. The sooner the Authority can meet, the sooner it can appoint the director-general and other executive members, he writes.
The local authorities concerned will be consulted by the Ministry about the transfer of their bus undertakings to the Executive.
TYNESIDE PTA. The Minister has carefully reviewed the arguments for extending the area to include the towns of Blyth, Ashington and Morpeth in the north, and Boldon, Sunderland, Washington New Town and the adjoining area in the south, but has found no new information to justify including them at present.
MERSEYSIDE PTA. The Minister has decided that there should be two more local council members on the Authority-one is an extra seat for the county districts so that they can be more conveniently represented and the other is to be shared between Birkenhead and Bootle to balance the county borough representation.
SELNEC PTA. The Minister has maintained broadly the same representation proposed last October. However, in response to requests from local authorities concerned he has made some minor changes in the grouping of the county districts for making appointments and has divided the large groups of county districts on the eastern side of the area (which was to have had two members on the Authority) into two smaller groups each having one seat.
WEST MIDLANDS PTA. In the West Midlands the Minister has kept the same basic pattern for appointments as proposed last October but has made provision in the Order for a rotation of the shared appointments between Dudley, Walsall, Warley, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. To meet the wishes of the majority of councils concerned the Minister has decided that the three county district appointments should be made by the county districts within each county. The geographical areas of each PTA are as published in CM, November 8.