Merseytravel chair Dowd elected for national role

Michael Hunt

The chair of Merseytravel, Cllr Mark Dowd has been elected to chair the UK Integrated Transport Authorities' Special Interest Group.

The ITA SIG brings together all six Integrated Transport Authorities in England, which between them have a combined budget of over £1bn a year and serve more than 11 million people using public transport.

Speaking about his appointment, Cllr Dowd said: "To lead the ITA SIG is an honour and comes at a time when transport is, quite rightly, at the very forefront of demands for public service investment. Connecting people to jobs, family, health, schools and leisure is essential to supporting an economy in recovery and we will continue to push for a better deal for the millions of people who deserve it.

"Collectively, the ITA has some major responsibilities and, as a coalition with the public at its very heart, we will be driving some important campaigns, like making sure grants for concessionary travel comes directly into Merseytravel, that Merseyside get its fair share of government funding, and that, through the Local Transport Act, bus services are improved for the hundreds of thousands of passengers living or visiting Merseyside every year."

Cllr Dowd has worked in transport since 1960 and been a member of Sefton Council for 27 years. He became a member of Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority at its inception in 1986, before being elected as vice-chairman in 1987 and then chair in 1992.

Merseytravel's Passenger Transport Authority is made up of 18 councillors from the five districts of Merseyside.

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