Councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and transport providers in the East of England have come together to create a collaborative forum that will transform the infrastructure needed to deliver economic growth across the region and produce a truly integrated transport network.
Local councils, local enterprise partnerships and transport service providers met in December 2017 and agreed to form Transport East, a new non-statutory transport forum for the East.
The new forum, which will be a vehicle for the delivery of a collective vision for transport and wider infrastructure in the East of England, will meet for the first time in March and then regularly throughout the year to ensure that our transport network is fit for the future.
The forum will include local councils, Highways England, Network Rail and Local Enterprise Partnerships as well as other strategic partners such as ports, airports, rail and bus operators from across the East of England.
Transport East will ensure partners work together to speak with a clear voice about the region’s transport needs, including how best to prepare for the future and attract multi-million pound transport infrastructure funding.
Transport East will ensure that our transport network:
- is innovative and prepared for future developments
- enables housing growth
- enables the efficient and effective movement of people and goods to boost economic growth
- ensures that growth in the East is sustainable, encompassing all forms of transport including, public transport, walking and cycling
- ensures that the East of England is a place where people want to live, work and visit
- enables people to live independently and to make the most of opportunities as they arise
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, who chaired the summit in December, said: “We are keen to create a forum that speaks with one voice to help create a truly joined-up transport network and secure vital investment in future infrastructure.
“This forum will allow us to discuss common issues, share best practice and create a strategic vision for the future of transport and infrastructure across the East of England for decades to come.
“Through this partnership we can better access Government and private sector funding while working together to ensure money is spent where it is most needed.”
Christian Brodie, Chairman of South East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "A powerful combination of private and public sector voices covering such an important swathe of the country is bound to reap rewards. We look forward to playing our part in securing even more investment in the area and building our collective resilience for the challenges to come.”
Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “A region that works together to identify common priorities and speaks with a collective voice is more likely to be successful in attracting investment and getting the best results for its residents.
"The East of England’s economy is set to grow faster than most other UK regions in 2018 and it’s vital that our transport infrastructure keeps pace with our potential and ambition.”