England’s Economic Heartland has launched a ‘call for evidence’ to inform the development of its connectivity studies between Oxford and Milton Keynes; and Peterborough, Northampton and Oxford.
The connectivity studies will take the policies set out in the transport strategy and apply them ‘on the ground’. The output of the studies will be an evidence-based joined-up package of investment that reflects the step-change in approach required to achieve net zero emissions by as early as 2040, while supporting sustainable economic and housing growth.
These are not ‘traditional’ transport studies. Instead, EEH is working with partners and stakeholders to set the desired outcomes for the defined study area from which we can collectively identify the investment requirements that are needed. Taking this approach ensures that, as we plan connectivity in the future, we are doing so in a way that can achieve the region’s long-term ambitions.
One of the first stages of the connectivity studies is an in-depth analysis of the issues present in each corridor. As part of this, EEH is inviting interested parties to complete a short survey which aims to capture evidence about the two study areas. The survey is available on the EEH website and will be open until midnight on June 30.
EEH has appointed a consortium of Steer, WSP and 5th Studio to lead the two studies. They will be co-designed with the local planning and transport authorities and LEPs along each corridor, ensuring the views of EEH’s partners are fully represented.
The studies will conclude in spring 2022, when a report will be published setting out the connectivity opportunities and needs in each corridor. The package of interventions identified will form a key part of our investment pipeline for the region going forward.
EEH is planning 10 connectivity studies in total, with Swindon-Didcot-Oxford and London-Buckinghamshire-Milton Keynes-Northampton the next corridors to follow in due course. All the studies will take account of existing studies at a local, regional and national level to ensure work is joined-up and avoids duplication.