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Transport threat to Thames Gateway success


AMBITIOUS GOVERNMENT plans to redevelop south Essex as part of the Thames Gateway regeneration will fail unless there is a step change in transport provision, consultants warned this week.

South Essex needs £1.6bn of extra transport investment up to 2021, if the objectives in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's (ODPM) sustainable communities plan are to be realised.

South Essex is one area of the Thames Gateway region targeted by deputy prime minister John Prescott for the construction of 120,000 homes (see page 18).

The conclusions are contained in a report by Hyder Consulting for regeneration body Thames Gateway South Essex (TGSE) published last week.

Hyder's London to Southend movement study (LOTS) maintains: 'The levels of housing development proposed are unsustainable and the level of employment-related development would be unachievable with the existing travel behaviour and road infrastructure.'

In the short term, Hyder predicts regeneration will overload much of the strategic road network, including large sections of the A13 and the A127.

Long term improvement schemes include:

lA lower Thames road and rail crossing lA Channel Tunnel Rail Link interchange within south Essex lA local metro system providing fast links between town centres.

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