Region-wide consultation launches on multi-billion strategy for transport

A public consultation has launched to secure feedback on the region’s first Transport Plan; an ambitious multi-billion-pound strategy which aims to deliver major improvements across the North East up to 2035.

The North East Transport Plan includes an initial £6.1bn of transformative projects, an investment figure which is expected to grow significantly across the lifespan of the plan as schemes develop. It includes a live programme of 296 proposed transport schemes across the region which would reshape the network over the next 15 years – building on existing assets and creating new infrastructure.

Members of the North East Joint Transport Committee (NEJTC) agreed at its meeting on 17 November to launch the eight-week consultation to garner views from the public on the Plan from 19 November – 14 January 2021.

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “We know people in the North East are incredibly passionate about transport and we want to use that passion to lead a green transport revolution. This is a wonderful opportunity for people from across the region to have their say on the future of transport.

“For too long, transport investment in the North East has lagged behind other areas of the country. Independent reports have shown that people in London receive over seven times more spending per head than those in the North East and we want that to change. This Transport Plan explains how, if we have the same level of investment, we will be able to transform the lives of people here in the North East. More investment will drive our economy, improve the environment for all and help us address this stark imbalance so future generations can prosper like never before.

“Transport and connectivity are absolutely vital to enable us to harness the full potential of our regional economy and we’re going to make substantial changes for the better. However people choose to travel – whether it be by bike or car, public transport or on foot, we want people to consider the improvements we’re trying to make and support us in making these plans a reality. Let’s work together to drive real change for transport.”

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Transport North East, said: “This year has been challenging for the people of the North East and we’re keen to drive regional growth and future prosperity by creating a first-rate transport network.

“We already have strong foundations and infrastructure in place but through these ambitious plans we will build exciting new transport solutions which the people of the North East can truly be proud of.”

The draft North East Transport Plan includes multiple road, rail and public transport projects which will drive forward increased connectivity. It also details numerous sustainable travel schemes which aim to greatly improve both the physical and mental health of people across the region.

Comprehensive policy statements are detailed in the consultation draft plan which will be adopted across the seven local authority areas – Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Durham.

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