29th Jun, 2022

Local leaders in drive to make public transport safer for women and girls

Ross Crawford 23rd Jul, 2021

TWO Leaders from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) eaders have been chosen by the government to lead efforts to tackle violence against women and girls on transport.

WMCA interim chief executive Laura Shoaf and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) interim managing director Anne Shaw have been announced as the UK’s first Violence Against Women and Girls Transport Champions.

The West Midlands is the only region with a joint combined authority and transport authority led by women.

Their appointment was part of the wider Violence Against Women And Girls strategy unveiled by the Home Office.

Public transport champion Laura Shoaf.

Under the new role they will work with the Department for Transport, as well as passenger groups and the transport industry, to identify areas for improvement across the country’s transport network.

Laura, who also chairs the Urban Transport Group which represents UK city region transport authorities, said: “It is completely unacceptable that women do not always feel safe on our country’s transport systems. It is an essential service helping people get to work, to health care, out with friends and connecting families. It is for everyone.

“Anne and I will be engaging with the transport sector and local authorities to make a real change to ensure everyone feels safe on our transport.”

Laura and Anne last week met with Transport Minister and Redditch MP Rachel Maclean.

Anne added: “As managing director of Transport for West Midlands, the safety of our passengers is of paramount importance which is why we work closely with police and operators through our pioneering Safer Travel Partnership.

“We will be working closely with Government to ensure changes can be introduced across the country.”

Mrs Maclean said: “No woman should ever be made to feel unsafe on public transport which is why we’ll be working with operators across all modes to address the problems vulnerable passengers face.”

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