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Transport strategy

Outer orbital area study

The outer orbital area encompasses the strategic corridors that follow the coastline from the New Forest in Hampshire towards East Kent.

This area serves some of the largest and most dynamic conurbations in the South East. It also boasts one of the most diverse landscapes in southern England, including two National Parks. This area also faces challenges in terms of deprivation in some coastal communities – many of which are served by poor transport connectivity.

Study completion: September 2021


  • Slow rail journey times and localised capacity challenges on the East and West Coastway and in the Solent area
  • High mode share for cars and goods vehicles, with the same roads being used for a conflicting mix of local, inter-urban and long-distance journeys
  • New development constrained by transport capacity as well as geographical challenges and protected landscapes
  • Localised poor air quality and safety issues due to strategic road network running through densely populated urban areas
  • The need for efficient access to ports and other international gateways


  • Rationalisation of local/urban and longer distance/inter-urban movements
  • Mass rapid transit (MRT) opportunities for local/urban journeys in larger conurbations, including the Solent and Greater Brighton areas
  • Improved rail connectivity for Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne to support development and regeneration, and reduce road congestion
  • Demand management, mode shift, and integrated planning approach
  • Targeted highways improvements to address ‘missing links’ at several locations between Portsmouth and Dover