Network Rail joins Transport for the South East partnership
Network Rail has joined the board of the Transport for the South East partnership – a new body created to improve the transport network and grow the economy of the UK’s South East area.
Transport for the South East (TfSE) was created in 2017 and is a sub-national transport body that brings together local authorities, business groups and the transport sector to speak with one voice on the region’s strategic transport priorities.
Working alongside civic and business leaders – representing more than 7.5 million people and 300,000 businesses – Network Rail, Highways England and Transport for London (TfL) have all agreed to join the board of the partnership to help shape investment plans for the South East’s transport network.
Councillor Keith Glazier, Chair of Transport for the South East, said: “Transport for the South East has quickly emerged as a strong and effective partnership, bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors to speak with one voice on our region’s transport needs. We are already working closely with Network Rail, Highways England and Transport for London as we develop our transport strategy and investment priorities for the South East. It makes sense to formalise those relationships, adding considerable technical expertise and strategic insight to our partnership board.”
Glazier added: “Bringing Transport for the South East and these key partners closer together will help ensure we’re best placed to deliver investment in the South East’s most important strategic transport links while also working together to improve connectivity with the wider region and the UK.”
The addition of Highways England and Network Rail is designed to strengthen joint working with the infrastructure owners responsible for operating, maintaining and enhancing the region’s strategic road and rail links. With TfL joining the partnership, it represents the importance of the relationship between the capital and the South East region, not just in terms of transporting people and goods, but also new housing and employment growth.
During the summer of 2020, the partnership will publish a 30-year transport strategy for the region, which sets out how targeted transport investment can:
- More than double the South East’s economy
- Create an additional 500,000 jobs
- Boost quality of life and access to opportunities for everyone
- Help cut the region’s carbon emissions to net-zero.
Managing Director of Network Rail’s Southern region, John Halsall, said: “The devolution of Network Rail to regional businesses is all about putting passengers first. A big part of how we do that is to work much more closely and collaboratively with regional stakeholders, so I’m delighted to accept the invitation on behalf of Network Rail to join Transport for the South East’s partnership board.”
Halsall continued: “Rail is absolutely vital to the lives of millions of people and businesses across the South East and has a huge role to play in supporting sustainable economic growth. I look forward to working with partners from across local government, business and the transport industry to deliver a better, more integrated and more sustainable transport network for our region.”