Former president of ICE and chair of the Enterprise M3 LEP, Geoff French briefed fellows today on how various transport projects across the region could boost economic growth significantly.
Speaking to fellows at an exclusive breakfast briefing, Geoff went through the findings of the Strategic Transport in the South East Report, commissioned by five LEPs and supported by local authorities around the region.
The report estimates that the benefit to the economy would exceed £19.5 billion per annum, with more than 100,000 new jobs created. This additional economic activity would see the Government gain additional revenue of £1.2 billion a year from personal income taxation and just under £1 billion a year from corporation taxation. Conversely a failure to invest in congested transport links could seriously hamper economic growth.
Geoff described the various transport corridors, both road and rail, which could see considerable returns if developed. The report is one of the first times the region has come together to prioritise infrastructure projects and is a call to Government to continue investing in the South East.
The work doesn't make detailed proposals for schemes, but calculates the economic boost should schemes be brought forward. The next step is to work with infrastructure providers, such as Highways England, Network Rail and local highways authorities, to use the evidence and develop the actual schemes that could secure economic growth for the whole country.
Suzanne Moroney, ICE South East England Director said: "This is a fascinating study that shows the benefit of the region working together as one. If we can agree on what transport projects we want to see, we will be far more effective at making our case to the Government and infrastructure providers.
"I would like to thank Geoff for taking our fellows through his findings at the breakfast briefing and I look forward to working with Enterprise M3 and the other LEPs involved to develop further this important piece of work".