Our vision is for a thriving Eastern region with safe, efficient and net zero transport networks advancing a future of inclusive and sustainable growth for decades to come.
We want to transform our transport connections to support long term economic growth.
Through our transport strategy we aim to overcome some of the region's transport challenges while delivering a fit for purpose, high quality, inclusive and sustainable transport network which accommodates future growth.
What is the Transport Strategy?
The Transport Strategy is a core document for a Sub-national Transport Body. It sets a long-term vision and priorities for region’s transport up to 2050 and informs our work, local transport plans and priorities of national bodies including National Highways and Network Rail.
In 2022 our transport strategy was endorsed by all our Local Transport Authorities and in 2023, it was recognised by the Department for Transport (DfT) who will now give it ‘due regard’ in funding and policy decisions that affect the region.
Our Transport Strategy sets out a vision of a thriving Eastern region - Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock - with safe, efficient and net zero transport networks, working to achieve a future of inclusive and sustainable growth.
This vision is guided by four priorities; decarbonising transport, connecting growing places, energising our coastal and rural communities, and unlocking our global gateways.
We've created a short summary of our strategy which you can watch here:
Why does the East need a transport strategy?
To provide a single voice for the East’s transport needs.
The Transport Strategy provides a single voice for the future transport investment in the East and helps to identify a pipeline of priority projects for the region.
The single voice aims to boost the region’s capacity, capability, technical expertise and resources. This will drive the development of an improved, integrated and futureproofed transport network that supports the East’s contribution to the UK economy and national net zero ambitions.
With our partners, we are working to make sure funding and policy decisions are informed by local knowledge, evidence and requirements so the region reaches its full potential. This will help us tackle the region’s transport challenges.
The transport challenges we face
The region covers a large area with no major 'hub city'. This means our transport networks are particularly important in supporting the regional economy as people and businesses need to access work and goods. Many journeys made within the region are difficult to make other than by car.
42% of the region's carbon emissions coming from transport, affecting people’s health and contributing to climate change.
The Government has clear commitments to cut transport related carbon emissions to net zero and the East is committed to leading the way on decarbonisation.
Poor connections are a particular challenge for many people living in our rural and coastal areas, making it difficult to access jobs, education and essential services.
Two thirds of our rural residents live in a ‘transport desert’ where there is no realistic alternative to the private car.
Not only is the movement of people complex, so is the movement of goods. Our ports connect Britain to the rest of the world, but constraints in connections to these hubs slow deliveries, add cost and ultimately make it harder for businesses to trade internationally.
Major investment is needed in our transport networks to meet current and future challenges and to allow the region to fulfil its potential.
How will the strategy be delivered?
Our Strategic Investment Programme sets out our proposed approach to enable delivery of the Transport Strategy. It will be reviewed every three years or in response to emerging guidance and policy; the Appendices to this document will be updated annually.