Enterprise M3 LEP has secured a total of £24.4 million through the Local Growth Deal to deliver a programme of sustainable transport schemes and measures. Funding for this first year 2015/16 has been awarded to a package of £4.35 million for the development of Sustainable Transport Schemes across Surrey and Hampshire.
The schemes were specifically selected because they met essential criteria with regard to the economic benefits they would bring to the region, along with significant environmental benefits. The investment in 11 sustainable transport schemes by Enterprise M3 unlock a further £9.04 million of matched funding to ensure the successful execution of these projects.
The projects include initiatives to improve connectivity with employment centres, improving accessibility to Growth Towns and expanding Wi-Fi provision on buses to facilitate mobile working for the business community. Schemes also deliver long-term environmental benefits, encouraging greater take up of cycling through the expansion and development of dedicated cycling routes along with improved pedestrian access throughout the Enterprise M3 area.
In 2015 Sustrans completed an evaluation for us through the Transport Delivery Excellence Programme. Due to our early efforts to prioritise and allocate funding to sustainable transport, we were able to use this opportunity to identify future investment priorities in order to maximise the impact of our funding. This places us in a particularly strong position to reap the benefits of sustainable transport, such as improving the reliability of local transport networks, offering a wider range of travel options for local journeys, and reducing dependence on the private car. We have also encouraged other transport projects that we have funded through the Local Growth Fund to consider including a sustainable transport element, in order to maximise these benefits throughout our area.
Geoff French, Chair of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, commented: “The ability of sustainable and environmental transport schemes to unlock economic growth and development is too often overlooked. Investing in sustainable transport schemes, such as pedestrian walkways and cycle routes that can help reduce the economic cost of congestion is extremely valuable in Surrey and Hampshire. Giving commuters’ access to Wi-Fi on public transport provides a significant benefit, enabling them to work and access vital information on the move. Investment in these schemes reinforces our commitment, as a LEP, to further developing the region’s vital infrastructure which, in turn, will help support even more economic growth.”
Projects Delivered in 15/16:
Supporting sustainable transport in our Step-up Towns
Green Grid & Green Loop, Whitehill and Bordon
This project is for the design of two new cycling and walking routes which will provide a high quality link between existing residential areas, the new town centre, the new secondary school (proposed for delivery by 2018), employment areas and new residential neighbourhoods in the Whitehill & Bordon area.
Andover Accessibility Improvements – Newbury Street, Upper High Street and Chantry Street
The proposal will improve the attractiveness of and accessibility of the rail station in the Step-up Town of Andover. It will provide pedestrian crossing points, wider footways, disabled parking and environmental enhancements and upgrade of existing street furniture to encourage the use of sustainable transport to and from the station to ease congestion.
Sustainable transport for the rural economy
Petersfield to Queen Elizabeth Country Park Cycle Route
The improvement will provide a cycle route linking Petersfield with the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and upgrade the existing cycle facility linking the Country Park to Clanfield and Horndean. The project will improve access to Queen Elizabeth Country Park via sustainable transport, reducing congestion and supporting the visitor economy.
Modern and business-friendly public transport
Wi-Fi improvements and on-bus audio-visual
This improvement will provide free Wi-Fi for passengers at five of the most heavily used rail stations in the LEP area in partnership with train operator South West Trains (Woking, Guildford, Basingstoke and Farnborough Main and Aldershot) and also equip bus routes in the Blackwater Valley, Basingstoke and Winchester areas with on-board free Wi-Fi, to enable bus passengers to make full productive use of travel time and encouraging the use of public transport.