MPs showed cross-party support for the South East’s own sub-national transport body during a Parliamentary debate.
Local MPs from Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats backed the work of Transport for the South East in establishing a transport strategy for the whole region to support economic growth and transform the lives of the travelling public.
The debate in Westminster Hall was introduced by Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, who said while each MP had their own constituency interests at heart, working together on a common transport strategy would be the most effective way to get results for everyone.
Mr Merriman said: ‘Strategic transport investment is integral to growing our economy and parliamentarians should support bodies such as Transport for the South East, to allow them to secure and direct the investment needed to grow our regional economy.’
Other speakers included Peter Kyle MP (Lab, Hove) who said connecting the South East’s productive hubs was crucial: ‘So that the South East economy outside of London does not remain dependent on just London.’
Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne) said that in parts of the region transport infrastructure is ‘absolutely atrocious’ and said he was supporting the establishment of TfSE with the hope that it ‘will be the catalyst for making a significant difference, which we all know the South East needs.’
There was also support from Tan Singh Dhesi MP (Lab, Slough), Gareth Johnson MP (Con, Dartford) Gillian Keegan MP (Con, Chichester) and a response from Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP on behalf of the Government
Mr Norman praised the progress already made, saying: ‘At not even a year old, TfSE has built, and continues to build, partnerships across the region, and it speaks with an increasingly clear voice to Government about its priorities. I am sure that voice will make a real difference to local people in the South East, and in due course to the country as a whole, since this is a principal engine of economic growth.’