South East councils are calling on the government to invest in five strategic transport projects in the region to ensure the continued growth and success of the UK economy.
The Missing Links report details why targeted investment in the South East’s transport network is so vital and sets out five headline projects, which they say would unleash significant economic growth, reduce congestion and improve quality of life for millions.
The five projects are:
- A34/M3 and rail links to Southampton-Portsmouth from Oxford, West Midlands and beyond
- A2/M2 – links to the Channel Tunnel & Dover from London, the East, the Midlands and beyond
- A27/M27/A259 – from Dover to Southampton-Portsmouth, through developing coastal economies
- Oxford to Cambridge, including improved A34/M40 link
- North Downs Rail – from Oxford, through Reading and Gatwick Airport to Ashford in Kent.
Missing Links brings together the work of organisations from across the South East into a strategic, coherent transport improvement plan. The report comes from South East England Councils (SEEC), South East Strategic Leaders (SESL) and South East Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (SEDEEPT). It responds to a government request for prioritisation of South East transport needs and asks Ministers to invest in key projects that will benefit the UK as a whole.
SEEC chairman Cllr Nicolas Heslop said: “The South East is the world’s 30th biggest economy and home to major international transport gateways. Our Missing Links report provides a strategic solution to the ongoing problems of congestion and lack of capacity in the South East. Investment in these five strategic transport projects will ensure continued growth and prosperity of the South East and benefit the entire country.”
SESL chairman Cllr David Burbage added: “We must invest in the South East’s existing economic success to reap the best returns for UK plc. With investment in these five projects we will be able to deliver excellent returns for the Exchequer that will more than repay government’s initial investment.”