A study into how much the south-east of England’s economy could grow with more investment in road and rail improvements has been launched.
The study has been launched by the Gatwick Growth Board and is designed both to unite the region’s business and political leaders around a shared vision for future transport investment, and to crystallise a clear message on the region’s transport priorities for senior decision makers.
It will report in April - just ahead of the next round of transport investment decisions by Network Rail and the government.
The Brighton Mainline is the UK’s busiest commuter line.
As one of the largest businesses on the line, one of the busiest stations in the south-east and one of the busiest junctions on the M23, Gatwick is well placed to play a leading role coordinating the case for regional transport investment.
Former transport minister and co-chair of Gatwick Growth Board, Steve Norris, said: “We are approaching a critical time when investment decisions will be made that will impact the region for decades.
“Our aim is to leave those holding the purse strings in no doubt about which transport projects would be best for the regional economy.”
The study will be undertaken by respected engineering and design consultancy Arup.
It will seek to identify options for future transport investment in the next decade across the region and will assess the potential for economic growth across both the Gatwick Diamond and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership regions that could be enabled by identified transport improvements.
Also on the agenda are the priorities and case for rail investment and likely regional impact.
Baroness Tessa Jowell, former cabinet minister and co-chair of the Gatwick Growth Board, said: “There is no business as usual for Gatwick, rather in recognising the widespread support for investment in transport infrastructure for the region, this study will identify and assess the feasibility of available options and the likelihood of support and financing for them.”