Who are Transport for the South East?

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An update on a new transport body…….

Separately to central government we have a number of local governmental bodies: County Councils + District, City or Borough Councils + Parish and Town Councils. In addition to this we have the South Downs National Park, Local Enterprise Agencies and Highway England as well as other Government agencies.

Now a new regional government body is being set up:

Transport for the South East (TfSE) was established in 2017 to determine what transport infrastructure is needed to boost the region’s economy. It is governed by a board and their members are drawn from 16 local authorities, five local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) plus representatives of district & borough councils, protected landscapes (such as the South Downs National Park and national delivery agencies such as Highways England and Network Rail.

TfSE was set up by the government and currently operates as a ‘shadow authority’ with a view to gaining full statutory powers once the Secretary of State for transport is satisfied that the timing is right. In the meantime, TfSE continues to be funded by the government and by contributions from constituent authorities. During this time, they have developed a Transport Strategy for the south-east outside London which will be followed by a Strategic Investment Plan. The transport strategy was approved by the board on 16th July 2020. The current phase of work involves carrying out 7 sub projects:

  • Outer Orbital Area Study
  • Inner Orbital Area Study
  • South Central Radial Area Study
  • South West Radial Area Study
  • South East Radial Area Study
  • Freight, Logistics and International Gateway Strategy
  • Future Mobility Strategy

When these are complete, they will feed into a Strategic Investment Plan which is due for approval in 2022.

Separately to TfSE Board (decision making), there is also a non-voting TfSE Forum made up of a wide range of outside bodies. Membership includes LEPs, councils, South Downs National Park, plus operators of airports, seaports, road, bus and ferries as well as freight and road organisations along with civil engineers. The campaigning organisations haven’t been left out.  CPRE, the South Downs Society, SCATE and the South Downs Network (SDN) are represented. Environmental groups are represented by Friends of the Earth. Cycling groups are there too along with Sustrans. The views of all organisations in the TfSE Forum are represented to the min board by the TfSE Chair.

In the strategy development and in the follow on studies the Cinderella is rural transport and rural cycling/walking. The SDN have been lobbying TfSE to recognise the importance of rural communities. It is tough going but we will keep plugging away. If you have any comments or want us to take something up please contact us by CLICKING HERE


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