Wakefield steps down as Transport Commitee Chair

26 June 2018

Cllr Keith Wakefield is to step down as Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee as he takes on a new skills and training role for Leeds City Council.

Cllr Wakefield has chaired the Transport Committee since 2015 and has sat on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority since its inception in 2014.

The construction of three railway stations, the park-and-ride schemes at Elland Road and Temple Green, the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road and the Leeds Bradford Cycle Superhighway are just some of the projects which have been completed during his period as chair. He has also been instrumental in driving the case for devolution of rail.

Cllr Wakefield has championed partnership working with bus operators, which has delivered significant improvements for bus passengers including investment in new vehicles, clearer information, contactless payments and half-fares for under-19s.

Cllr Wakefield said: "It has been a great privilege to chair the Transport Committee as the Combined Authority has driven significant investment in the transport network and I am hugely proud of what we have achieved.

"I remain passionate about our region's need for better transport and will continue to press the case for improvements which deliver greater access to jobs, education and services."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said:

"Cllr Wakefield has been a powerful advocate for the role better transport has in improving the standard of living for our communities. While playing a key role in the delivery of transport improvements at a regional level, he has also championed the case for the North of England to receive a fairer share of the national spend on transport.

"He deserves our thanks and appreciation as we wish him well in his new role. I look forward to working with the new Chair of the Transport Committee as we press ahead with our ambitious plans."

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Combined Authority member, said: "Cllr Wakefield has brought great expertise, insight and energy to the role of Transport Committee Chair and has ensured that the voices of communities from across the region have been heard in its decision-making.

"His enthusiasm for ensuring that everyone has access to opportunity makes him perfect to take on this new role."

Cllr Wakefield's role as Chair will come to an end on 28 June when the Combined Authority holds its annual meeting and agrees committee chairs for the next 12 months.

Cllr Kim Groves will be nominated to be Leeds City Council's new representative on the committee.

Cllr Blake said: "Cllr Groves has contributed significantly to transport plans in Leeds and I am confident she will have a hugely positive impact on the work of the Combined Authority through her membership of the Transport Committee.

"Transport is a vital ingredient in our drive to grow the economy in a way that benefits all our communities and Cllr Groves will have an important role to play as we take that forward."