Regional Scheme Prioritisation

A key benefit of our work is the provision of a clear, prioritised and co‑ordinated view of the strategic transport investments required to deliver on the region’s shared strategic ambition.

We will refresh the investment pipeline to establish the priorities for investment in the region. Current fiscal and political pressures make it inevitable that a combination of public and private sector funding will be required to deliver those priorities, as will a mixture of capital and revenue investment.

As the programme moves towards the later years of spending, the investment pipeline will be well developed and well evidenced. The focus of activity will move increasingly into developing investable propositions.

During the period of the 2022-2025business plan, we will...

  • Draw on conclusions from across the EEH study programme to develop a regional infrastructure pipeline.
  • Shape and agree how regional strategic transport investment schemes will be prioritised, drawing from recommendations across policy framework and evidence work.
  • Develop funding opportunities that may be viable for both government and investor/developer funding to attract new opportunities for infrastructure schemes.
  • Undertake a programme of development of strategic cases for infrastructure priorities identified in the regional investment pipeline – moving the focus on to enabling scheme investment and, in time delivery.

Investment pipeline (ongoing)

Our transport strategy contained a first iteration of a regional investment pipeline, based on ‘known’ priorities captured through stakeholder engagement. Since publication of the transport strategy, further technical work has strengthened the regional evidence base. As a result, there is a need to update the pipeline.

The project will identify where investment is required, primarily considering strategic and multimodal opportunities and interventions which provide large benefits to the region. It is proposed that the principles, actions and policies in the transport strategy should form the policy base for the investment pipeline. This would be supported by additional existing and emerging technical studies or ‘think pieces’, such work undertaken as part of the Regional Bus Strategy work programme.

The pipeline is intended to be proportionate, so that it is seen as an investable proposition by the government. It should consider both national priorities and regional policies and highlight the outcomes the investment pipeline will deliver. It is anticipated this will include carbon, economic and transport outcomes, amongst others identified. The pipeline will be presented in final form as part of an investment pipeline summary report/ brochure. Supporting the investment pipeline will be a narrative about why investment in the pipeline is critical, how the interventions work together to meet the aims of the transport strategy and next steps.

Places of strategic importance (ongoing)

EEH’s transport strategy identified places of strategic importance, including regionally significant hubs, economic assets (for example, enterprise zones), universities, smaller settlements identified by local authorities as a focus for significant planned population and/or economic growth relative to their size, garden towns/villages and areas of potential.

Building on the places of strategic importance in the transport strategy, we will be undertaking a short piece of work which will help us understand how we can further categorise places of strategic importance based on data. The benefits of the projects are:

  • It will help focus our places of strategic importance in a data led way
  • It will allow places to be analysed against specific metrics.
  • Help inform the future investment pipeline iterations

Transport and wider socio-economic and environmental metrics linked to the transport strategy will be utilised in the development of the project. The output of the project will be a spreadsheet and technical note for use in future projects.

Partnership working (ongoing)

England's Economic Heartland continues to work with infrastructure owners and service providers to accelerate the delivery of known investment requirements in the region. This includes committed schemes included in National Highway's Road Investment Strategy, EEH’s Major Road Network programme and Network Rail’s investment pipeline.

We are also working with Network Rail, the East West Railway Company and Highways England to ensure that their investment programmes reflect the needs of our region.

We are progressing opportunities to address some of the key barriers to enabling the timely and efficient development and delivery of required infrastructure.

Centre of Excellence (ongoing)

See Regional scheme prioritisation


Evidence to Transport Select Committee (2021)

EEH has provided evidence to the Transport Select Committee's 2020/21 inquiry into 'Major transport infrastructure projects: appraisal and delivery'.

Our evidence highlights:

  • The need for a 5-10-year indicative funding envelope: We have seen first-hand the added value and benefits realised by Network Rail and Highways England operating within such a framework. Extending the approach to the wider transport system would encourage more effective prioritisation at the regional level. By ensuring the Investment Pipeline is affordable the opportunity would be created to reduce (or even avoid) the need for competitions to be used to allocate the funding available. There is clear evidence that the use of competitions adds inertia to decision-making, adds avoidable costs and delays the realisation of economic benefits.
  • Funding mechanisms need to be simplified and focused on delivering outcomes, as opposed to being limited to specific projects. We need to move on from funding decisions assigned by departments operating in siloes of one another.
  • Improving the appraisal process: The appraisal system must take heed of the changes to working patterns and avoid excessive weight afforded to the monetary value of journey time savings. It should favour an appraisal system where carbon reduction and outcome led planning are the pillars of transport decision making.