West Mids bids for rail devolution
A formal proposition to government to put more responsibility for the region's rail services in local hands has been approved by councils from across the West Midlands.
Metropolitan, shire and unitary authorities from across the region met at the County Buildings in Stafford to endorse the submission document, 'West Rail Midlands Rail Proposition 2014'.
It will now be formally submitted to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
The authorities believed devolving powers from central government to the West Midlands would create a better railway for passengers and also for the area's economy, driving growth and jobs.
If the government agrees to the rail devolution proposition then West Midlands Rail will be the public body responsible for overseeing services once the existing London Midland franchise ends in 2017.
Roger Lawrence, leader of Wolverhampton City Council and chairman of West Midlands Rail, said: "The submission of this proposition is a major step towards securing local management and ultimately delivering better rail services focused on the real needs of West Midlands passengers.
"The local rail network has a key role to play in supporting the region's economy and holding more responsibility here in the West Midlands will help make sure that new investment is best targeted to create growth and jobs."