Access all areas: EEH's Martin Tugwell on regional transport

 

As Highways England unveiled its preferred route for the Black Cat roundabout upgrade in England's Economic Heartland (EEH) area, Transport Network spoke to EEH's programme director, Martin Tugwell, about maintaining a complex balance between partners, priorities and transport modes on a regional level.

”Local

Routes and modes

'We need to change the way we look to plan the development of our transport system, move away from thinking in terms of trying to categorise people into groups such as ‘driver’ or ‘public transport’ because therein lies the danger that we inadvertently build in a bias that potentially reinforces existing travel behaviours when in fact we are seeking to achieve a paradigm shift.

We need to adopt an approach to the planning and delivery of investment in infrastructure and services that is focused on supporting our ambition to enable the economic potential of the Heartland to be realised: the vision for our overarching Transport Strategy is: ‘connecting people and places with opportunities and services’.

We need to better understand future connectivity needs – which will be as much about digital connectivity as it is about physical connectivity – and to create a sense of ambition around how we want our transport infrastructure and services to be developed as a truly integrated system (as opposed to a number of individual networks).

In other words, while our investment in new strategic rail infrastructure and services will create new travel opportunities it will not remove the need for investment in our road network – but what it should do is change the nature of that investment so that it complements, rather than competes with the investment in the rail network.

While we need to understand the drivers underpinning current travel choices, we must not inadvertently reinforce them on future generations by failing to set out a bolder vision.

Highways upgrades in an integrated system

‘It is absolutely essential we invest in our highways because of our transformational levels of growth. The existing network is struggling to cope with the growth we have already. However digital connectivity is fundamentally changing travel patterns, while East West Rail could open 5-10 years before the Cambridge to Oxford Expressway – and we know from experience that passenger numbers are likely to exceed forecasts.

‘The issues around East West Rail and the Expressway are an illustration of the challenges we have to address if we want to deliver an integrated approach. While it is great to see the secretary of state support the east-west railway, which he is driving forward, we know that whatever happens when it is up and running we will almost certainly have more passengers than we predicted. We are talking about a part of the country where people are used to using the railways.

‘If there is a certain amount of money for improving transport infrastructure, how do we unlock and deliver the most economic growth, in a way that complements sustainable travel and delivers net environmental gain? We need to do some further work on how to best spend that money.

‘If the driver here is improved connectivity, someone working in Oxford for instance might want more digital connectivity and if we are also trying to get net environmental gains and deliver more sustainable transport that must also be considered.’

Demand versus vision – moving away from predict and provide

‘The question is, how do we make connectivity easy for the public and give a them choices, rather than treating people as just train users or road users but also making the last and first mile top notch?

‘EEH understands this is about delivering economic potential. The ambition is to delivery on our economic potential and our political leaders are serious about doing that while also delivering net environmental gain. It is not growth at any cost. So we need to think about what we need to achieve as an outcome. We need to start thinking about what we need to achieve as a place.

‘We are carrying out a connectivity study and we need to work with planning colleagues to find where growth might take place. However we need to focus on where we want to end up. That way we move away from predict and provide by focusing on a long-term plan and where we want to be.’

Freight and passenger routes

‘One of the first pieces of work we commissioned was a piece on freight. If we don’t start by thinking about freight and logistics then we are not going to realise the best outcomes. That work is due to report in the next few months or so.

‘What are the freight options for the future? People are toying with the idea of hyperloop technology. We ought to be bold enough to think about strategies and technology that we can start to offer to other countries as a solution. We need to be bold and start to think about where we want to go.’

Government control and independent regional voices

‘We made a call as part of the budget submission last year that the Government should give us a sense of how much is available to be spent in transport infrastructure so we can sit down and have a conversation about outcomes, for example housing growth, digital infrastructure and business opportunities. We are looking into first and last mile connectivity, assessing the need for investment and assessing what the users’ requirements are of course.

‘We won’t let any funding uncertainty hold us back. We will crack on and think what is best for the corridor. However I think a funding envelope is eminently possible. We need to treat the Treasury as another investor. We need to secure private investment as well of course.’

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

(Senior) Environmental Health Officer/Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
We are looking for Environmental Health Officers; EHRB registered and has current experience in food safety and health & safety enforcement. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Road worker/Ground worker

City of York Council
£10.30 per hour
Have you successfully worked as part of a team? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

HGV Relief Driver

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary Band D, £21,589- £24,799 per year (pro rata to period of contract)
We are looking to recruit temporary HGV Relief Drivers with occasional loading duties to join NWLDC’s busy Waste Services Team. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Waste Services Worker (Loader)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band B, £18,795 - £19,171 per year (pro rata to the length of contract)
We are looking for Waste Operations Loaders to join our Waste Services Team to undertake waste collection and other related duties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Chargehand/Ganger

City of York Council
£11.09 per hour
Do you have experience of excavation, reinstatement and footway maintenance schemes? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Sustainability & Resilience Manager (maternity cover)

Essex County Council
£51510.0 - £58752 per annum
This fixed-term contract will begin in August 2020 and is expected to last until October 2021 Interviews scheduled to be held Wednesday 10th June 2020 England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Civil Service Deputy Director Roles

GOV.UK
£70,000 - £117,800 & excellent rewards
We’re looking for significant experience of engaging at C-Suite and Board levels, excellent partnership-building and... England
Recuriter: GOV.UK

Engineer (Highways Scheme Design)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post-holder will be required to have highway engineering expertise in order to contribute to efficient and effective provision of... Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recuriter: Medway Council

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Resources and Waste Commercial and Contracts Manager

Northumberland County Council
£47,107 - £50,394
We are looking for a strategic, innovative and performance-focused leader to join us as Resources and Waste; Commercial and Contracts Manager. County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

SEN Travel Assessment Co-ordination Officer

London Borough of Bexley
£35,529 - £41,796
We are currently seeking an experienced officer administrator who will enjoy working as team and under their own initiative, with duties including... Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Principal Planning Liaison Officer X3

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Estate Roads Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer x2

Somerset County Council
£25,295 to £28,785 per annum
We have 2 exciting opportunities for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Design Services Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£50,430 - £55,503
We are a team of mixed experience and skills, proud to serve the people of Lincolnshire and have fun whilst doing so! Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 to £32,029
We are looking for a Transport Planning Officer to join our Highways and Transportation service. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transforming Cities Fund - Project Delivery Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£48,000 to £55,840
We are looking to appoint to the pivotal position of TCF Project Delivery Manager on a 3 year fixed-term contract, to... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Engineer (Drainage)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post holder will be expected to work closely with our term maintenance contractor to successfully complete schemes. Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recuriter: Medway Council

Senior Street Lighting Engineer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£35,246 - £45,704 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth