Our places are a key asset for our economy. Business and people locate and flourish in places that are well connected, offer a high quality of life and where people have the skills those businesses need.
Developing the economy by delivering houses, training and jobs, requires an integrated and resilient transport network (both physical infrastructure and services) that is fit for purpose. Our businesses require a transport network that:
The Marches LEP produced a Rail Study in 2014 and developed a report on Investing in Strategic Transport Corridors in the Marches area in 2016. Along with the Growing Mid Wales Partnership, the Welsh Government, and Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Herefordshire, Powys, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Councils, the Marches LEP jointly commissioned the ‘Marches and Mid-Wales’ Freight Strategy. Its objective is to provide an evidence base to determine the interventions in the freight sector that will support the economic development and operational efficiency of businesses in the Marches and Mid Wales, while also seeking to enhance the quality of life of its residents and reduce environmental impacts from freight transport activity.
The overall aim of the Marches and Mid Wales Freight Strategy is to ensure the efficient movement of freight in the Marches and Mid Wales while minimising impacts on the environment and residents.
The strategy should lead to a reduction in costs for the freight and logistics industry and its customers and at the same time reduce the negative impacts of freight movements on people who live and work in the Marches and Mid Wales.
The commissioning and development of this strategy has been managed by a steering group of officers from the commissioning organisations.
Major infrastructure projects funded via the LEP’s Growth Deal with Government are under way in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. More information about these can be found here.
The Marches LEP Board has a transport sub-group to advise on all transport matters to support the delivery of the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, ensuring that transport investment, including active modes, is closely aligned with the wider policy objectives of both the Local Transport Authorities and the LEP’s strategic priorities including economic growth, carbon reduction and social inclusion.
The Transport Officers Group (TOG) provides support and guidance to the LEP Board on the development of transport policies and programmes, and builds a strong evidence base for transport investment.
The TOG meets bi-monthly to discuss all matters relating to transport, in and affecting the Marches area; this can include ongoing or planned projects, responses to national and other consultations, and the work plan of the group. The TOG manages the development of strategies such as the Marches and Mid Wales Freight Strategy on behalf of the Board.
The current membership of the Transport Officers Group (TOG) is:
The LEP supported Shropshire Council’s bid for government funding for the construction of the final part of the Shrewsbury bypass, known as the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (SNWRR) and in March 2019 the Department for Transport awarded £54.4m towards its construction. Further information on the proposed scheme can be found here.
Midlands Connect is an ambitious initiative to identify and then realise the transport connectivity improvements needed to maximise the region’s long-term economic growth. Their “Our routes to growth report” sets out priority projects and vision for statutory Sub-national Transport Body status.