As sub-national transport bodies grow in influence and stature the lead officer for Transport for the South East (TfSE) has welcomed a debate on linking transport and housing at the regional level.
TfSE is the latest STB to launch long-term strategy proposals for its region. It emphasised the difficulties of managing predicted traffic levels and adds to the debate around how planning and transport are linked in the local policy landscape.
Local officers have highlighted for many years the need for a integrated regional approach, with two tier county areas experiencing particular difficulties from a system where district authorities have responsibility for planning but top tier authorities have responsibility for transport and roads.
The Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) recently suggested that one solution could be giving STBs wider powers including key strategic roles in planning housing.
Chief officer lead for Transport for the South East, Rupert Clubb (pictured), told Transport Network: 'This is exactly the debate we need to be having. The need for joined-up, long-term planning is potentially something the STBs are well set up to do.
'Really good quality growth needs a clear strategic infrastructure overview and it’s fair to say the STBs plug the spatial planning gap in relation to transport.
'Our transport strategies, either complete or emerging are there to focus on growing the economy, including housing growth, and have regard to social and environmental demands. And this is where I think the ICE State of the Nation report recommendations are timely in enabling us to have that debate.'