New transport organisation targets Brighton main line for improvements

Posted On 24 Jun 2022 at 2:57 pm

Plans to create a transport network in the south east of England have been revealed – and one of its key goals will be to improve rail services between Brighton and London.

The new organisation will be a partnership formed of councils, local enterprise partnerships and transport operators called Transport for the South East (TfSE).

And today (Friday 24 June) its ambitious plans to create a fully integrated and carbon-neutral transport network in the south east by 2050 were announced.

Transport for the South East hopes to be partially funded through grants from the Department for Transport but is exploring other potential income streams.

The project is a statutory sub-national transport body, like Transport for the North which was set up in 2018 and covers 56 local authorities including Manchester and Leeds.

Transport for the North’s powers include producing a strategy which the government must formally consider during decision-making and funding organisations to deliver transport projects.

Its powers also include working with councils to fund and deliver road schemes, be consulted on rail franchises for the area and taking forward smart ticketing on public transport.

The TfSE project would cover rail, road, air and sea travel projects across Kent and Medway, East and West Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight.

Rather than “planning for vehicles” – as has been done in the past – it is hoped that Transport for the South East would shift and instead focus on planning for people and places.

The plan is the culmination of five years of technical work, stakeholder engagement and institutional development.

It is the blueprint for future investment in strategic transport infrastructure for the next 30 years.

It sets out steps to decarbonise the transport system across the region, level up left-behind communities and facilitate sustainable economic growth in the south east.

Wealden MP Nusrat Ghani said: “The development of a sustainable and green transport strategy in the south east is of vital importance and I am pleased to be supporting this strategy.

“Transport is the key to productivity and, as the region continues to grow, we should recognise it should be given the appropriate infrastructure funding for its roads, its railways, its aviation infrastructure and its ports.

“The south east is a principal international gateway and better transport connections throughout the region will benefit the UK as a whole.”

A public consultation started this week on TfSE’s plans and will run until Monday 12 September.

Transport issues that TfSE aims to tackle include

  • Crowding and reliability issues on the Brighton main line
  • M25 and Dartford Crossing congestion
  • Congestion and connectivity issues on the M27/A27/A259 corridor
  • Access to the ports of Dover and Southampton
  • A shortage of lorry parking and driver welfare facilities
  • Pressure on rural bus services
  1. Benny Reply

    Sounds like someone is thinking 21st century. Any chance they’ll give us more than 1 bus an hour in East Saltdean and an evening service?

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      Probably not, Benny, very sadly.

      Joined-up thinking has never been part of any transport strategy across B&H and the much wider area either side.

      It has all just got worse than it was in the first place, unfortunately. You would probably agree that major action on all this is needed now, not at some nebulous time in the future, guided by some sort of think-tank. I’ll be dead by the time anything gets done.

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