The organisation that oversees transport provision in Tyne and Wear is celebrating after being named the best in the country.

The Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) was named ITA of the year at the 2011 National Transport Awards ceremony in London.

Competition judges recognised its role in delivering the second Tyne Tunnel, and with its executive body Nexus, securing the future of the Tyne and Wear Metro and taking forward smart ticket technology for North East England.

ITA chair Cllr David Wood said: “I’m really proud of the work that the ITA does and it is great to see it recognised on a national stage. The authority is currently overseeing a number of important projects that will benefit commuters, cut congestion times and benefit our region’s economy.”

Director General of Nexus Bernard Garner added: “This award underlines the hard work the ITA and Nexus has put in recently on a range of high profile projects that will make a real difference to the lives of people in our region. It beat off competition from some of the biggest cities in the country, proof of its innovation and ambition.”

And there was a double celebration after Metro won two categories in the separate UK Light Rail Awards. DBTW, the company that operates the system on behalf of Nexus, was named Operator of the Year while Nexus Youth Liaison Officer Rebecca Ditchburn won Best Safety Initiative for her interactive classroom pack on rail safety.