The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been commissioned by the South East Regional Assembly to produce its Regional Freight Strategy.
The FTA who has completed similar strategies for the North East and North West, is building builds upon a set of key policies that are to be reviewed over the coming weeks.
The strategy will then inform planning and investment decisions for the South over the next 15 to 20 years. The stakeholder group, which has already had an initial meeting, brings together interests from air, sea, road and rail sectors as well as from Government agencies to make certain that the final product is integrated between modes and reflects both the regional and national agendas for freight over the coming years.
Amongst a large number of matters likely to be included in the strategy are:
– Reduced traffic congestion in and around ports, notably Southampton and Dover.
– Improved safety and reduced accidents on the strategic roads network.
– Development of the South Coast route from Southampton to Kent.
– Gauge enhancement of the rail route from Southampton to facilitate the increase in container traffic.
Stakeholders contributing to the production of the strategy include the Government Office for the South East, the Highways Agency, Network Rail, BAA, the Road Haulage Association, Associated British Ports and EWS. Gordon Telling, the FTA’s head of policy for London, the South East and East of England, said: “This is a unique opportunity for firms operating in the region to influence key decisions by national and regional government that will have an impact on their businesses for years to come. I welcome any other representations that will help us to produce a strategy that is truly fit for purpose.” The South East Regional Freight Strategy is scheduled for publication in the summer.