UK’s West Midlands signs MoU with Malaysia to support transport innovation
The West Midlands Combined Authority and the Iskandar Regional Development Authority will share knowledge, ideas and lessons learned from within the urban and transport planning realms.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Malaysian government body to co-operate in the area of transport innovation and smart cities development for the next three years.
The MoU with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) will be an opportunity for the West Midlands to share knowledge, ideas and lessons learned from within the urban and transport planning realms, as well as promote mutual recognition of international design standards for inclusive transport.
The virtual signing of the MoU took place at the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC).
The signing saw TfWM’s Interim Managing Director, Anne Shaw, putting pen to paper for the WMCA, alongside representatives from IRDA and the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, His Excellency Charles Hay, who joined either in person or virtually.
TfWM, which is part of the WMCA, launched the RTCC in January 2020 to bring together real-time information across all modes of transport in one place, working with existing control centres around the West Midlands to provide up-to-the-minute journey information for residents, businesses and visitors.
Over time, the initiative – which was facilitated by the Global Future Cities Programme in Malaysia – will look to assist the RTCC in improving its coordination across public transport and road networks, as well as manage real-time congestion for the region’s residents, businesses and visitors.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I look forward to seeing how the partnership with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority will further build on our efforts to manage and improve our green transport network throughout the West Midlands. The RTCC provides us with the unique ability to give accurate travel information to our residents, making it a wonderful facility to showcase to our visitors from Malaysia as we look to work together to further innovate transport in our regions.”
Anne Shaw, Interim Managing Director for Transport for West Midlands, said: “Transport for West Midlands is pleased to be entering into this collaboration agreement with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority, and is looking forward to the mutual learning and knowledge sharing, particularly regarding the roles and function of regional transport authorities that this agreement will facilitate. We have a track record of delivering innovative data and technical solutions, so combining their experience with the learning that IRDA are gaining from their transport innovation developments will be beneficial for both organisations.”
His Excellency Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, added: “Sustainable transport is an essential part of reaching net zero targets, and local authorities play a key role in the transition. These were among the main themes of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 which the UK has just hosted. Partnerships like this will help drive climate action forward”.
After visiting the RTCC and signing the MoU, Malaysian delegates were given a tour of the transport modes and popular public spaces in Birmingham.