Infrastructure in its various forms is essential for supporting both housing and employment growth. Journey times and capacity constraints on our road and rail networks are not only frustrating for residents, but are also deterring investment in our emerging high value businesses.
Our top infrastructure priorities are:
- Increasing capacity on the A3, A21, M3, M23, the south west quadrant of the M25
- Eliminating bottlenecks on the A27
- A fundamental rail capacity enhancement between London and the South Coast
- Enabling high speed rail access via HS1 to Hastings and Bexhill.
The 3SC also recognises the importance of digital infrastructure to unlocking the economic potential of the area. Parts of Surrey and Sussex, especially the more rural areas, currently lack access to reliable broadband. This hinders the development of small businesses and start-ups which are heavily dependent on digital connectivity, preventing the 3SC from becoming a truly digitally-connected economy.
The 3SC will work with partners to ensure the area is at the forefront of new digital innovations; using 5G technology, Internet of Things and Big Data to develop applications of digital capabilities that meet the needs of our businesses and communities.
How would devolution help?
Our plan is to inject pace and certainty to the delivery of housing, co-ordinated with an integrated infrastructure strategy to 2050.
Major enhancements, including any airport expansion, need to be complemented by local road improvements. This would be planned and delivered by 3SC.
The 3SC bids asks for:
- a revolving infrastructure fund to deliver the infrastructure required to support sustainable economic growth, as identified in the 3SC infrastructure strategy and associated delivery plan.
- commitment from Government to co-invest in new homes, unlock barriers to growth, and plan and prioritise investment in associated infrastructure (including transport, schools and healthcare, utilities and broadband)
- commitment from Government to working with the 3SC and partners to develop solutions to the barriers to broadband rollout in areas where it is currently commercially unviable
- a memorandum of understanding between the 3SC, Highways England and Network Rail on operations, maintenance and local investment
- devolution of a consolidated transport budget and associated functions to the Combined Authority
- to work with Government to develop an overarching bus strategy for the 3SC area, and implement this strategy through the development of an Enhanced Partnerships model for local bus services.
Separately, but in parallel to the development of devolution proposition, the 3SC authorities are working with our neighbouring areas to bring forward proposals for a Sub National Transport Body for the South East. This will develop a transport strategy for the delivery of major strategic infrastructure which extends beyond the 3SC area. Working with the LEPs, this will be the main mechanism to influence the prioritisation of investment by the major national transport agencies.
The Infrastructure workstream is made up of officers from across the partner authorities and is led by:
CEO Sponsor: Rupert Clubb, East Sussex County Council