New regional body Transport for the South East launched


A new sub-national transport body for the South East has been launched and council leaders in the region hope to secure full Government backing and statutory powers within two years.

At the first meeting of Transport for the South East (TfSE), the partners elected Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council as chairman with Cllr Tony Page, deputy leader of Reading Borough Council and representative of the Berkshire Local Transport Forum, as vice-chairman.

TfSE takes in Berkshire, Brighton and Hove, Kent, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Medway, Portsmouth, Southampton, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex.


It also brings together the area’s 16 transport authorities and five local enterprise partnerships to work directly with the Department for Transport and will involve other key stakeholders, including Highways England and Network Rail, transport operators and transport users.

At the inaugural meeting on Monday 26 June, partners discussed ambitions to deliver ‘smoother, congestion-free journeys and make the best use of digital and emerging technology in transport, but also to enhance the South East’s vital role in national growth,’ a statement said.

Cllr Glazier said: ‘The South East is a major driver of the UK economy – contributing over £200bn a year, more than Scotland and Wales combined. But its transport network is creaking so it’s vital the Government does not take its foot off the pedal in targeting much-needed investment in this area.

'This is why we have come together to highlight the transport priorities for our residents and businesses and find innovative ways of building a truly resilient and modern transport system that will enhance the South East’s success.

‘Our transport network is nationally and internationally significant: it takes in two of the country’s biggest airports, many of its busiest motorways, a string of major ports and crucial railway links to London, the rest of Britain and to mainland Europe. But there’s no one body which directs this area network, and that’s the vitally important job that Transport for the South East can fulfil.’

Work is beginning to prepare a transport strategy for region to help prioritise investment. including options for smart, integrated ticketing. Residents will be consulted on the scope and final shape of the strategy.

TfSE said it intends to move to full operation, with government backing, in 2019.

The region has has 7.5 million residents and more than 24,000 miles of road while its ports collectively handle 81 million tonnes of freight each year.

The creation of sub-national transport bodies such as TfSE, Transport for the North and Midlands Connect was enabled by law under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act, allowing decisions on strategic transport investment to move from national to area level.


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