As 2021 draws to a close we have been reflecting on the last year and the progress we have made. Everything we have been doing is working towards towards the development of an ambitious and inspirational multi-modal strategic investment plan for the South East region. We have also been looking forward to 2022 – the year that will see us go out to public consultation on that investment plan, ahead of publication early the following year.
In the last twelve months, working closely with expert partners from across the region, we have made huge leaps in our thematic and area studies and also in our work on decarbonisation – here’s a recap…
Early in 2021 we launched ProjectView, our data mapping tool. Developed with our partners at WSP, ProjectView is designed to support our work and ensure that decisions about investment in the South East are based on common and consistent data.
Fast forward to now and we have over 100 users and are preparing to add new data sets from our current workstreams: area studies, future mobility strategy and freight, logistics and gateways strategy.
Published in July our Future Mobility Strategy sets out a people and place-based approach to how we will travel and move around in the future, exploring the opportunities that new and emerging transport technology might bring and setting out an action plan to get us to where we need to be.
Freight, Logistics and Gateways Strategy
Our Freight, Logistics and Gateways Strategy is almost complete and will go to our Partnership Board for sign off in January. This strategy identifies what investment is needed to better connect our region’s ports, airports and international rail links, supporting sustainable economic growth here in the South East and across the UK.
Our five geographic area studies which investigate the issues, challenges and opportunities identified in our transport strategy in more detail are nearing completion and uncovering some ambitious packages of interventions that will feed into our strategic investment plan.
Since Government published its Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) in July 2021, setting out a path to net zero transport in the UK by 2050, TfSE have been working hard to progress our work in this area and lead the way for the South East.
We have developed our land use model, SEELUM (South East Economy and Land Use Model) further to enable the carbon emissions impacts of the packages of interventions identified in the area studies to be assessed. We have also helped trial a tool developed by the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) that enables carbon footprints of neighbourhood areas to be assessed.
In addition to this, in June we set up the South East Regional Transport Decarbonisation Forum for local authority officers to share best practice, identify areas for joint working and oversee TfSE’s work on decarbonisation. The forum has met several times this year and is due to meet again in February 2022.
We are also undertaking work to identify decarbonisation pathways for the region that will enable the potential effectiveness or potential policy measures and interventions to be assessed.
Looking forward to 2022
As we look ahead to next year we know we have a lot of work to do to bring all of our studies and research together into our Strategic Investment Plan. The public consultation in the summer of 2022 will provide an opportunity for all partners and stakeholders from across the region to explore the proposals and reflect on whether that plan can get us where we need to be by 2050.