Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, attended a meeting in Parliament marking the launch of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Solent Strategic Transport Investment Plan.
The Plan provides a strong business case for infrastructure improvements in the Solent region, calling for long-term investment to unlock the Solent’s growth potential over the next 25 years.
It sets out a clear rationale and justification for investment in the Solent region, which suffers from a huge transport infrastructure deficit. Average vehicle speeds are 32% slower than the national average. Meanwhile, it takes on average 88 minutes to travel to London (a distance of around 80 miles). This starkly contrasts to the 78 minutes it takes to travel from Sunderland to London (a distance of 270 miles). The Solent region also does not fully exploit its assets, with no direct rail link between Southampton Airport and Portsmouth.
The Solent Strategic Transport Investment Plan outlines how good transport links are utterly essential for improving the Solent’s economic fortunes by connecting people to jobs and products to markets, and meeting the demands of a growing population. The Plan suggests that in the future, a metro-style public transport service connecting Portsmouth and Southampton should play a central role, alongside improved connectivity to London.
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage welcomed the thorough analysis, while firmly calling on the Solent LEP to ensure the needs of Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head are met.
“This robust and persuasive analysis by the Solent LEP clearly shows the disparity between other parts of the country and the Solent region, which for too long has suffered from underinvestment. This problem is particularly severe in Gosport, which is one of the largest towns in the country without a train station where over 20,000 workers commute out of the peninsula every day.
“Investment in Solent transport infrastructure is the lynchpin for our area’s long-term economic success and I was sure to impress upon Solent LEP bosses that the Gosport constituency must get its fair share of the cash and not be left behind. Improved transport infrastructure is critical to support our productivity, which is growing thanks to investment in key sites like the Daedalus Enterprise Zone, which I helped to establish.
“I look forward to continue working with my Parliamentary colleagues, the Solent LEP and other key stakeholders to ensure the Solent region is supported to reach its full potential.”
You can access the Solent Strategic Transport Investment Plan, here: http://solentlep.org.uk/blog/solent_lep_launches_strategic_transport_investment_plan_for_the_area.