England's Economic Heartland: Fighting for better transport links to unlock future economic growth
The Alliance’s transport proposal advocates the importance of investment in five strategic transport corridors to realising ambitions for growth locally and nationally – including the A34/43/45 artery, and the A428/A421 Expressway corridor.
More widely, England’s Economic Heartland is seeking a new deal with government to boost economic growth in a ground-breaking alliance between Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.
However the Strategic Alliance believes that an efficient transport system that supports smart mobility within the three counties is central to improving productivity, attracting private sector investment and accelerating economic growth.
The proposal sets out ambitions for how public transport providers could work more cohesively across the three counties and how emerging internet and smartphone technology could empower travellers in their choices.
Although some of the proposals, such as smart-ticketing, may have already been implemented in global cities it is believed that this is the first time they would be applied to shire counties.
It would be made possible through the counties working in unison and creating the critical mass of population essential for such initiatives to become feasible.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Many journeys with a big impact on the local economy don’t start or end in Oxfordshire so it is important that investment in our major roads network is planned with our neighbours.
“That’s why we are working closely with Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire to press government to invest in these roads that are so crucial to creating jobs and helping people get to work.
“By talking with one voice, we’re sure that government is more likely to listen to the strong business case for this vitally important investment that supports its growth ambition.”
Other proposals that form the proposition include expanding the innovative approaches to delivery that have been pioneered by the partners and which bring public bodies, private sector developers and contractors together to deliver infrastructure projects.
Ideas for collaborative blue-light services and an integrated car parking and enforcement scheme across the sub-region are also outlined in the document being proposed to government.
Overall, the growing devolution agenda nationally has provided the platform for this new approach and England’s Economic Heartland wants Government to provide the area with a five-year Growth Deal that will provide greater certainty of funding allowing the partners to deliver the proposition.
This certainty would give confidence for businesses to invest in the area and give England’s Economic Heartland a competitive advantage on the world stage. Already with a £46.6bn economy, England’s Economic Heartland, seeks to swell growth by a further £9bn each year, creating at least 135,000 new jobs by 2020.