“We welcome the Chancellor’s recognition of the importance of the England’s Economic Heartland region to the economic future of the UK. With the right infrastructure – not just in transport but also in areas such as high speed broadband and utilities – we can have places that offer residents and investors alike the environment in which to make their future. This region has to be able to compete on the world-stage for UK Plc, providing the tax revenue which will allow the Treasury to invest in all parts of the country.
“East West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge expressway are vital pieces of infrastructure to support transformational economic and housing growth in this region. We are pleased to see the Chancellor’s funding announcement for the next stage of East West Rail and his support for seeing the project delivered all the way to Cambridge. The work of the EWR Consortium has already shown the benefit of continuing the investment eastwards to support the Suffolk and Norfolk economies.
“With regards to the expressway, it is important that whichever route taken forward, it is well connected to the rest of the network. I’m therefore delighted that the Department for Transport is looking to commission England’s Economic Heartland to take forward work on a connectivity study, which would form part of our over-arching Transport Strategy. It is a vote of confidence in the Strategic Alliance and we look forward to working with the Department for Transport in taking this forward.
“However, the work on East West Rail and the expressway needs to be put in the context of our overarching Transport Strategy. Our Strategic Transport Forum has an ambitious three-year programme of work. Delivering that programme will require significant funding, on a scale consistent with our colleagues at Transport for the North and Midlands Connect. We therefore look forward to the Government’s commitment to the arc reflected in its financial support for the emerging Sub-national Transport Body.
“England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance is actively developing a comprehensive economic and industrial strategy for the area, including communication and utilities. Going forward, England’s Economic Heartland is best placed to work with Government to realise our joint-ambition for a region which competes on the world-stage for UK Plc. Investing in our capacity and capability to plan, develop and deliver infrastructure improvements will leverage significantly greater return to the UK economy."