On Tuesday we made our way from our hotel in town to the University of Leeds campus, where the Institute for Transport Studies hosted us for our morning meetings.
The first was with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, where MD Ben Still and colleagues described, among other realities, the setup of Local Enterprise partnerships and different institutional structures for addressing regional development. The focus here on integrated economic and transport governance was particularly salient. The session was rich with discussion, with delegates being struck by the differences and points of overlap between systems in their cities and the UK setup.
After lunch we heard from Leeds City Council, with a focus on future strategies for Leeds, especially with regard to the new railway station and bus networks. This was followed by a wonderful walking tour of Leeds facilitated by LCC’s Paul Foster. Helped, of course, by the particularly favourable weather – we’d love to claim that Leeds is always this sunny! The presentation and short walking tour made a real impression in terms of attempts to deliver an integrated land-use and transport plan.
The day’s activities here ended, we headed straight to Leeds Station, where we’d stored our luggage in the morning, ready to catch our train down to Birmingham and prepare for a Smart Transport Conference the next day.