TRANSPORT body, Transport for the South East (TfSE), has received approval to progress a strategic investment plan which could see a Ryde to Southampton summer ferry, trains from Newport and Ventnor, and improved mainland connections.




Approval comes from its Partnership Board, and the plan sets out a vision for the South East.




This includes priorities to decarbonise the transport system, level up left behind communities, and facilitate sustainable economic growth between now and 2050.




It is designed to improve connectivity on the Island, and between the mainland and the Island, to support sustainable onward connectivity and increased tourism.




This ambitious plan, for the entire region, forecasts a total capital cost of more than £45 billion over 27 years.




But interventions, once implemented, could generate 21,000 new jobs, an additional £4 billion growth in GVA each year by 2050, 1.4 mega tonnes less CO2 equivalent emitted, 500,000 more rail trips a day, 1.5 million more trips taken by bus, mass transit and ferry, and take roughly 4 million car trips a day off the south east’s roads.




Prior to approval at the Partnership Board, local transport authorities within the region had the opportunity to present the investment plan to their own council members to secure sign off.




The Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, Cllr Phil Jordan, previously said the plan would be interesting for the Island, as it could subsidise ferry fares, among other things.




He said the Island was a small part of a huge powerhouse but he felt the schemes were more likely to come to fruition being a part of TfSE, than they would if they were pitched to government separately.




Councillor Keith Glazier, Chair of Transport for the South East, said: “This evidence-based investment is a once in a generation opportunity to set out a sustainable transport network that recognises the importance of major transport corridors across the south east.




“It truly is a plan developed by the south-east, for the south east.




“Following approval by our Partnership Board, we have submitted the plan to the Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, with a request for it to be considered as future investment decisions are made.”