Transport for the South East (TfSE) has launched a 12-week public consultation on a £45 billion plan that sets out the steps to decarbonise the transport system across the region. Quadrant Transport looks at how the plan will help benefit the South East.
As well as decarbonising the transport system across the South East, the plan aims to level-up communities and facilitate sustainable economic growth in the South East.
Over the last five years, TfSE has worked with a range of partners, including local authorities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), district and borough authorities, national parks and other protected landscapes and representatives from National Highways Network Rail and Transport for London.
Together, the partners have investigated the issues, challenges and opportunities identified in their Transport Strategy in more detail. Through this, a shortlist of integrated transport interventions that could benefit people, businesses, and the environment has been identified.
Decarbonising the transport system across the South East is essential for the South East to reach its net zero targets of 2050, as outlined in TfSE’s ‘Transport Strategy for the South East’ document: “By 2050, the South East of England will be a leading global region for net zero carbon, sustainable economic growth where integrated transport, digital and energy networks have delivered a step-change in connectivity and environmental quality.”
A high-quality, reliable, safe and accessible transport network will offer seamless door-to-door journeys enabling our businesses to compete and trade more effectively in the global marketplace and giving our residents and visitors the highest quality of life.
Communities Will Be Put At The Centre Of The Plan
The plan recognises a need for greater connectivity between major economic hubs, the international gateways and their markets, a more resilient and reliable transport network that can better manage demand, incidents and extreme weather and the infrastructure that will support the decarbonisation of the transport system.
Councillor Keith Glazier, Chair of Transport for the South East, said: “Our plan is ambitious, but it is achievable. It is an investment plan that, for the first time, looks at all modes and goes beyond boundaries to consider connectivity across the whole of the South East.
“We are immensely proud of the TfSE partnership and the work that has gone into developing this bold and ambitious plan. We believe it truly puts the South East and its communities at the centre, connecting people and business, improving access to education, healthcare, jobs and our green spaces.
“Once finalised, this plan will be the blueprint for future investment in strategic transport infrastructure for the next thirty years. It will support the South East’s economy to more than double over the next thirty years.
“It provides the potential for new jobs, new homes and new opportunities – all supported by a modern, integrated transport network.”
Creating a prosperous, confident South East where people want to live, work, study, visit and do business.
Transport Is A Key Part Of Economic Growth In The South East
With a total capital cost of £45 billion over 27 years, the transport interventions included in this plan are said to generate 21,000 new jobs.
In addition to this, it is hoped the plan will see an additional £4.1 billion growth in GVA a year by 2050; an additional 550,000 rail trips a day and 1.6 million buses, mass transit and ferry trips a year. Also, it is aimed that the plan will take more than four million car trips a day off the roads of the South East.
However, the economic growth will not come from just transport alone, but transport will be a vital part of the jigsaw and an enabler of growth in other sectors.
It is essential to realise that this opportunity will require an integrated approach to investment and delivery. It will require working across institutional, sectoral, and spatial boundaries.