Sub-national transport body Transport for the South East (TfSE) has launched a series of 'area and thematic studies' to inform its upcoming investment plans.
A joint team of Steer, WSP and Atkins has been appointed to deliver the area studies, which will focus on sustainable growth, quality of life and cutting carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 at the latest.
The news follows the publication of TfSE's 30-year transport plan and its bid to secure statutory status alongside Transport for the North.
Three studies will focus on radial corridors broadly running north-south and connecting the region with London and other parts of the UK.
Two further studies will look at orbital or east-west connectivity including along the south coast.
Alongside this geographic work, two thematic studies will also feed into the strategic investment plan, looking at future mobility and freight, logistics and international gateways.
WSP has been commissioned to work on a future mobility strategy and action plan, setting out how the South East can benefit from new and emerging transport technologies.
A partner for the freight, logistics and international gateways study will be announced later in the year.
Cllr Keith Glazier, chair of TfSE, said: 'Over the next two years we’ll be working with our partners and stakeholders across the South East to set out a series of integrated investment packages to support our economic, social and environmental goals.
'Together, these will inform our strategic investment plan for the South East which will, for the first time, clearly set out our region’s transport investment priorities.'
Chris Dixon, UK head of transport at WSP, said: 'Incorporating future mobility thinking into strategic investment planning is vital for sub-national transport bodies as the nature and methods of travel will change greatly over the coming years.'
Mike Batheram, growth director at Atkins, said: 'The work we will undertake on the area studies will be key to ensuring a better connected, more prosperous and more sustainable South East. Our experienced team has a track record of using their transport planning expertise to develop leading edge infrastructure solutions across the UK.
Steven Bishop, programme director at Steer, said: 'This next wave of work brings the transport strategy to local areas through five area studies. Over the next two years, supported by WSP and Atkins, we look forward to identifying the key priority interventions to help achieve Transport for the South East’s vision and wider environmental, social and economic goals.'