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Transport plan for the North East set to be agreed

Words: Laura Edgar
Electric car / Shutterstock: 548313280

The North East’s first transport plan is set to backed by the region’s transport leaders, agreeing on strategic transport investment for the period up to 2035.

At a meeting on 16 March, the North East Joint Transport Committee will consider plans that include reopening the Leamside Line, investing in electric vehicle charging, a local bus partnership and smart ticketing. In total, it comprises a live programme of 243 schemes.

Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, councillor Martin Gannon, said: “I am thrilled that we are now in a position to adopt our region’s first Transport Plan, setting out a green transport revolution for the North East up to 2035. This shows what we can do when we work together as a region.

“Having set out the transport plan, we are already getting to work on delivering some of the game-changing solutions it describes so that we can bring about major change for the people of the North East, helping us to thrive economically, achieve our climate change targets, and improve public health.”

The larger aims of the plan, however, cannot be delivered without funding. Gannon urged the government to play its part: “This is a transformative plan but it can only be delivered in full if our region can access its fair share of funding.”

Developments and investments include:

  • A boost to the region’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure with the introduction of seven new public charge point ‘clusters’ around the region, thanks to funding from the Local Growth Fund.
  • A high-visibility promotional campaign to run this summer, encouraging the public to get out and about using active travel and support local staycations and businesses as the region looks to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
  • A multi-agency board tasked with rapidly developing a business case to reopen the disused Leamside Line to passenger and freight trains, bringing together all of the parties who have a role in the reopening.

The North East Transport Plan has been subject to an eight-week public consultation.

Image credit | Shutterstock