Calls for better integration and collaborative planning to improve infrastructure and transport in the Central South Region
Business South’s Transport and Infrastructure Champion Briefing took place at New Place Hotel on the 24th April 2019 aimed to inform and encourage debate about future investment plans in the region
Compared by Jamie Gordon, BECG the speakers included:
- Neil Garwood - Managing Director, Southampton International Airport
- Phil Dominey - Senior Regional Development Manager, South Western Rail
- John Henderson - Route Sponsor, Highways England
- Richard Pemberton - Principal Transport Planner, Solent Transport
The packed agenda included an update about planned changes and development with the aim of easing congestion and improving road, rail, air and sea travel. Delegates also had the chance to participate in table discussions and share their thoughts on particular issues. Themes that emerged from these discussions included:
- A desire to see improvements to the A27 and improved connectivity towards Brighton and Gatwick areas.
- The need for shorter timeframes generally between identified transport improvement schemes and delivery
- Improving access to Southampton Airport that is sustainable and more efficient particularly for passengers from Portsmouth and Fareham areas
- More joined up thinking between providers such as Network Rail and Highways England to offer a comprehensive plan to address congestion and accessibility. All transport solutions need to be integrated across travel and transport providers.
- Direct access to the Port of Southampton is required in order to support better links to non EU Markets
- How can we better improve the link between Cruise facilities and passengers and Southampton City
- What can be done to challenge perceptions around the affordability and efficiency of public transport to improve take up
- The need to continue to enhance our international connectivity by improving rail access from the region to Heathrow
- The need for more effective macro spatial planning to ensure that employment uses, where appropriate, are developed near to transport hubs in our key urban centres
Jamie Gordon, Director Infrastructure & Energy BECG commented: “The event was a perfect example of the need for transport solutions to be integrated – not only across rail, road, air and sea but also across key stakeholders, including government agencies and their partners.
A sustainable transport future won’t involve any one entity working in a silo - it will be down to collaboration. From Highways England assessing how many additional people would use a station if access was improved to Network Rail and the train operators then increasing capacity and frequency accordingly. To facilitate this, transport modelling will need to become far more mode neutral and focus more on the customer journey.”
Business South’s Regenerate South Conference on Tuesday 4th June 2019 will pick up again on some of these themes. To get involved visit https://businesssouth.org/events/regenerate-south-annual-conference/