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£2M for South East transport plans

£2M in government funding has been awarded to England’s Economic Heartland and Transport for the South East to develop innovative transport plans fit for the future of their regions.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the funding in a boost to regional transport organisations to help improve journeys for goods and passengers.

The funding comes as part of the government’s ambition to give regions across the UK greater influence over transport investment decisions, and follows Transport for the North being appointed the first Sub-national Transport Body in England.

This move will see sub-national transport bodies England’s Economic Heartland and Transport for the South East given £2M of government funding to develop transport strategies which will improve connectivity and drive economic growth.

These plans will allow people in counties including Kent, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to influence government investment decisions at a more regional level, filling the existing gap between national and local transport authorities.

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said: “This government is committed to empowering regions across the UK by giving them a stronger influence over the future of transport in their area.

“This will help us build the modern and effective links our country needs, improving journey times, boosting housing development and economic growth, and getting people and goods where they need to be faster, safely and more comfortably.

“Investing in England’s Economic Heartland and Transport for the South East means that those best placed to make decisions have our support to put forward ambitious proposals for the future. We will continue to work closely with these organisations as they develop transport strategies to help their regions seize their potential.”

Councillor Keith Glazier, Chairman of Transport for the South East, said: “This is a great step forward for our region’s transport system and all the people who rely on it. We’re grateful to the DfT for this vote of confidence in Transport for the South East and in the work we’re doing with them to ensure we have an innovative and efficient network for decades to come.”

The announcement coincides with Transport for the South East launching its Economic Connectivity Review in Farnborough. This represents a key milestone in its work towards developing a transport strategy for the South East, helping improve journeys for 7.5M people and 329,000 businesses from Berkshire to Kent.

England’s Economic Heartland is a body covering an area from Oxfordshire through to Cambridgeshire County. It is currently developing its blueprint for transport to unlock jobs and housing across the region.

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