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Response to the consultation on the Outline Transport Strategy

The RTPI welcomes the Outline Transport Strategy (OTS) from England’s Economic Heartland (EEH). This plan forms a basis for the start of strategic transport planning in the South East and East of England, which complements the current monocentric transport network in the region, largely focussed around London.

We believe success of this body will come from further collaboration not only in the delivery of large scale infrastructure projects but also in the areas of spatial planning of future developments and communities in order to fully realise the strategy’s goal of development producing a ‘net gain’ for our environment while improving connectivity for all communities.

We welcome the Strategy’s focus on improving connectivity within the region and the creation of a Strategic Transport Forum to align the interests of the region’s local transport authorities (LTAs) alongside regional local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) in order to lead on Transportation issues in the Economic Heartland in collaboration with other bodies.

This strategy does well in outlining the issues facing the heartland in terms of the lack of transport infrastructure. It also clearly understands the spatial relationship between Transport Infrastructure and connectivity and makes the case for investment in these transport networks in order to unlock growth but does little to clearly analyse the infrastructure gaps beyond the lack of east-west connectivity.

The OTS sets out a number of priorities for the region and key strategic plans for the future, however, there also seems to be a lack of plans and a clear idea of how such a body would be organised and come to decisions on investment funding, prioritisation and the delivery of such schemes.

While encouraging, the OTS lacks detail about many of the partnership proposals and how partnership could potentially be implemented in the field of future infrastructure development. The RTPI also believes strength in any delivery of any large-scale transportation infrastructure projects requires the alignment of spatial and economic planning with the delivery of such developments.

The RTPI response to this consultation focuses on the integration between the regional infrastructure bodies, local planning and transport authorities and their local plans.

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