Plans to create a transport network in south-east England have been uncovered.
Councils, MPs and businesses, led by Wealden MP Nusrat Ghani and East Sussex County Council, today unveiled ambitious plans to create a fully integrated and carbon neutral transport network in the South East by 2050.
The project, called Transport for the South East (TfSE), hopes to be funded partly through ticket sales and partly through a grant from the Department of Transport.
The project aims to become a statutory sub-national transport authority like Transport for the North, which comprises 56 local authorities including Manchester and Leeds and was set up in 2018.
Transport for the North’s powers include preparing a strategy for government to formally consider when making decisions, funding organizations to implement transport projects, working with local authorities to fund and implement road projects, consulting on rail concessions, provide services in the region and promote smart ticketing in public transport.
The project would include rail, road, air and sea travel projects in Kent and Medway, East and West Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight.
Instead of “planning for vehicles” as in the past, it is hoped that transportation for the Southeast would shift and instead focus on planning for people and places.
The plan is the result of five years of technical work, stakeholder engagement and institutional development.
It is the blueprint for future investments in strategic transportation infrastructure for the next 30 years, laying out the steps to decarbonize the transportation system across the region, valorize communities left behind, and foster sustainable economic growth in the Southeast.
MP Nusrat Ghani said: “Developing a sustainable and environmentally friendly transport strategy in the South East is crucial and I am pleased to support this strategy.
“Transportation is key to productivity and as the region continues to grow we should recognize that it should receive the appropriate infrastructure funding for its roads, rails, aviation infrastructure and ports.
“I will continue to work with Councilor Keith Glazier, East Sussex County Council and TfSE to get the support we need for East Sussex and Wealden in particular.
“The South East is an important international gateway and better transport links across the region will benefit the UK as a whole.”
Traffic issues in the South East that TfSE aims to address include:
– Congestion and reliability issues on the Brighton Main Line
– M25 and Dartford Crossing congestion
– Congestion and connectivity issues on the M27/A27/A259 corridor
– Access to the ports of Dover and Southampton
– Lack of truck parking and driver support facilities
– Pressure on rural bus transport