England’s Economic Heartland has launched its Draft Transport Strategy to set out a new approach to connectivity to enable a green recovery for the region.
England’s Economic Heartland is a partnership of councils and local enterprise partnerships, stretching from Swindon and Oxfordshire in the west to Cambridgeshire in the east, and from Northamptonshire down to Hertfordshire.
The area includes the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, as defined by Government.
The strategy includes an investment pipeline of the strategic transport infrastructure required for the region to meet its ambitions of reaching net zero before 2050.
It also contains details of connectivity studies which will be taken forward by EEH working with its partners, through which future investment requirements will be identified.
The Draft Transport Strategy is now subject to formal consultation which closes at midnight on October 6.
The EEH's Draft Transport Strategy includes measures to:
- Work with the area's innovators to trial and deploy cleaner and smarter connectivity across the region
- Champion investment in better digital connectivity to increase people's ability to work from home, reducing the need to travel
- Maximise the potential of East West Rail and use it as the catalyst for transforming public transport across the region
- Enhance walking and cycling infrastructure and 'shared transport' to improve local connectivity
- Ensure the region's freight and logistics needs continue to be met, while lowering their environmental impact
- England's Economic Heartland is also seeking views on plans to become a statutory body, increasing its ability to influence the national agenda and deliver the Transport Strategy.
An Integrated Sustainability Appraisal and a number of technical studies which informed the strategy have also been published. The Integrated Sustainability is also subject to consultation.
The launch of the Draft Transport Strategy for consultation follows a period of engagement with EEH's Outline Transport Strategy in 2019.
Twelve key messages were identified from the feedback it received, most notably the need for EEH to be bold in its approach to decarbonising the transport system.