The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the South East has launched an inquiry into transport infrastructure.
This follows the unanimous decision of the group’s officers to run the inquiry during its Annual General Meeting in the Palace of Westminster last Summer.
It is the group’s second inquiry, following the first into levelling up and local government finance, which saw its final report published in July 2022.
Call for evidence
“The South East and ‘Global Britain’: what role for transport infrastructure in underpinning Britain’s plan to trade and grow?”
(Download the PDF here.)
The South East is a truly international region. One of only three regions to be a net contributor to the Treasury, the region is a global gateway for the UK.
Positioned on the doorstep of Europe and possessing the UK’s main ports of entry, the South East is the leading UK region in trade and a net exporter of services.
The ‘Resetting the South East’ report from the Localis thinktank stated the South East will be instrumental in driving up the UK’s export ability post-Brexit and the country’s attractiveness to foreign trade and investment.
Since the Brexit vote, getting transport infrastructure right has been cited as a priority by successive Prime Ministers May, Johnson, Truss, and now Rishi Sunak.
Recent polling of residents, businesses and councillors across the region by Savanta Comres for South East Councils found that better Transport connections at 49% was Councillor’s second most preferred option to level up after reducing poverty.
However, reducing transport-related carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 remained the highest-ranked local priority for respondents overall also at 49%.
- Is existing Transport infrastructure in the South East region fit for purpose?
- How will the delivery of transport infrastructure help or enhance the government’s ambitions for “Global Britain”?
- Does the non-UK (foreign) ownership of essential transport infrastructure have a bearing?
The APPG is keen to hear from organisations and individuals across the region on expectations, requirements and concerns related to the Government’s transport agenda.
Topics and issues respondents may wish to raise could include:
- Aviation, airports & passengers
- Funding, public & private investment
- The path to Net Zero
- Road and rail links
- Shipping, seaports & freight
- Traffic congestion
Written submissions of no more than four A4 pages (approximately 1,600 words) are invited by 4pm on Friday 24th February 2023.
Please provide your:
- Organisation name and sector (or name if replying as an individual)
- Contact details including email and phone number
- Willingness to come to speak at a meeting of the APPG
- Consent (or not) for your submission to be placed on the webpage of the APPG
Two meetings will be held as part of the APPG South East inquiry:
- Morning of Wednesday 22nd February 2023
- Morning of Wednesday 8th March 2023
Agendas and confirmed guest speaker details will be circulated ahead of each meeting.
Meetings will last around 90 minutes in total, providing an opportunity for Parliamentarians to hear from invited guest speakers in local government, academia, and business about what, and how, levelling-up could play out across the South East region of England.
Parliamentarians may wish to discuss developments, issues and concerns related to levelling-up generally and/or relate to matters that may be more local to their South East constituencies.
Questions, queries, and points the APPG might wish to probe
1. Is “Levelling-up” a threat or opportunity to Transport infrastructure for the South East?
2. What should success criteria for transport-related measures in Levelling-up look like?
3. Must enhanced transport infrastructure be solely dependent on Government financial support?
4. Are there common transport pressure points in the South East?
5. What are the funding prospects for proposed projects? a. Short term? b. Long term?
6. What “adequate freedoms” might help councils work with partners to deliver specific projects?
7. What alternative or new options could be explored to secure funding? a. Are there pure commercial options that could be sustainable for the long term?
8. Should local businesses pay more for enhanced transport infrastructure? How much and for what?
9. If greater transport infrastructure funding was available should it be under local authority control?
10. Any other thoughts or observations?
(Download the PDF here.)