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Home People TfSE holds consultation event for region's £45bn plan

TfSE holds consultation event for region’s £45bn plan

A consultation event by Transport for the South East has laid out its £45bn plan to drive up transport connections in the region and improve travel options.

The Connecting the South East event invited panellists and speakers including Baroness Vere, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for transport; Ben Carlton Jones, Associate Director at KPMG, and John Halsall, Managing Director for the Southern Region at Network Rail.

And while its plan, published last month, includes sweeping ideas — such as a potential underground railway — much of the discussion on the day was about making shrewd use of what the South East has and making sure people got more choice without paying too great a price.

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As reported, the plan was developed over five years with regional and transport authorities.

The plan proposes a total capital cost of £45 billion over 27 years. The transport interventions included in this plan alone will, TfSE says, generate 21,000 new jobs; an additional £4.1billion growth in GVA a year by 2050; an additional 550,000 rail trips a day and 1.6 million bus, mass transit and ferry trips a day, and take more than four million car trips a day off the roads of the South East. 

This could include developing an entirely new rail link (most likely underground) between Southampton Central and the Netley Line. There is also plans for improved signalling on that line.

But the emphasis is not just about bold underground rail lines, in fact on the contrary the direction is towards making the most of what the region has. Ben Carlton-Jones, Associate Director at KMPG, said: “The SIP isn’t about building lots of new roads or railways but making better use of existing assets and corridors.”

Mark Valleley, Technical Lead of TfSE said: “Delivering the SIP starts with better integration between modal investment, better land use and transport planning as well as between the agencies that will be involved in the delivery of the SIP.”

Other key messages included making sure walking played a key part in connectivity, how a holistic view was important — with panellists saying people should be put first as part of a sustainable answer to the regions growth needs. Crucially, Yogesh Pateln Process & Improvement Director, Eurovia said the ideal scenario was “travel choice while not increasing the bottom line pain people feel when choosing their transport modes.” TfSE’s Mark Valleley, meanwhile, said that more data was needed to make sure the region avoided “freight blindness”.

The consultation runs for a total 12 weeks.

You can see images and quotes from the day on the live Twitter feed here.

To view the draft Strategic Investment Plan and respond to the consultation visit www.tfse.org.uk or Transport for the South East – Strategic Investment Plan Consultation | Transport for the South East (engagementhq.com)

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