Planning – Your chance to comment on transport across the region

Transport for the South East (TfSE) has gone out to public consultation on their draft Strategic Investment Plan. It closes on 12 September 2022.

https://transportforsoutheast.uk.engagementhq.com/transport-for-the-south-east-strategic-investment-plan-consultation

This is your opportunity to comment on the long term transport plans for the South East. A plan that has a ‘golden thread’ from the Government to East Sussex and which they hope will deliver decarbonisation, multi-modal solutions and a world class transport network. It is partly designed around increased growth and supporting businesses and it is worth highlighting it is for 2050. So if you are committed to the 2030 Eastbourne target, then this will not meet it, nor is it intended to. Your comments will have to reflect this.

Alongside East Sussex County Council (ESCC) will be starting on their Local Transport Plan (version 4). It is assumed that this will have similar themes. As in the past it is likely to end up as ‘Business as Usual’ but with the odd tweak.

Here are some extracts from the TfSE plan you might wish to consider

• Designed to deliver a faster trajectory towards net-zero than current trends, including rapid adoption of zero- emission technologies
• Deliver world class and seamlessly-integrated,sustainable urban transport systems (rail, bus,tram, ferry, cycling and walking)
• Great potential for new mobility (e.g. electric bikes and scooters) to boost active travel in the South East.
• Multi-modal and integrated

Carbon emissions are only ‘tailpipe’, also known as ‘Tank to Wheel’. This is the same methodology that is used for Local Authority carbon footprints. So an Electric Vehicle has a zero footprint the same as a pedestrian. It does not include the generation/mining of the power or its transport, the manufacture and disposal of vehicles and any indirect carbon used.

The TfSE Carbon Assessment report from 2020 admits “Even with considerably higher estimates for conversion to electric (a proxy for all zero emission technologies), “electrification” is insufficient in itself to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

Their ‘Scenario Forecasting Summary Report’ compared Business as Usual to a Growth scenario. However this was written in 2019 and the closest to the current scenario, following Covid, is their digital scenario.

The most significant feature is cars stay the same, an increase in Public Transport and the reduction in walking and cycling (down 17%). In terms of the obesity epidemic and general health this is going in the wrong direction

Current Transport Planning in East Sussex

Most of the carbon neutral agenda for transport comes from the Government though TfSE is in a position to influence some schemes. However it is worth remembering that recent consultations , such as the A22 roundabouts (£40M) had predictions of 25% more traffic by 2039. To a large extent planning will still be based on
• Predict more cars
• Plan for more cars
• Provide for more cars

Comments you might wish to mention on your submission

*Specify actual targets for a modal shift away from private vehicles
*Not always think that the best solution is just ‘one more lane’ . This often creates induced demand
*Priority given to low carbon vehicles and way from the combustion engine. Partly covered by the 2030 petrol and diesel ban.
*Road space and priority should be re-allocated
*Commitment to better, greener and more frequent bus and train services
*Priority given to active travel to reduce congestion, increase exercise and reduce the obesity epidemic
*Bias in favour of new solutions, with lower carbon footprints, such as micro-mobility
*Strategy for freight around the ‘last mile’ and use of hubs to reduce inefficiencies

Author Paul Humphreys – Cycle East Sussex + Bespoke and Eco Action (Transport Group)

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