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13 July 2010, 10:24
A major consultation on the future of transport in Hampshire has been launched by Hampshire County Council.
The consultation is an important part of the preparation for the third Local Transport Plan (LTP) for Hampshire, which will cover the 20 years from 2011-2031 and is due to be submitted to the Department for Transport next April. The emerging LTP will set out a broad long-term Highways and transport strategy for Hampshire, together with a short-term implementation plan.
This consultation focuses on the strategy part of the plan, and provides an opportunity for everyone to comment on the County Council’s suggested priorities for transport in Hampshire over the next 20 years. The implementation plan will be developed following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review - due to be completed in October - when there should be a clearer indication of the level of funding available for transport, which, because of the public funding deficit, are expected to be very much reduced from levels seen in previous LTPs.
The suggested county-wide priorities – of which maintenance, safety on the roads and supporting the economy are the foremost – are complemented by three geographically-based strategies for the north, centre and south of the county. The strategy for Southern Hampshire is being consulted on jointly with Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council.
Six elements are included in the consultation:
* The long-term vision
* The emerging strategic priorities
* The wider policy context
* The future of transport in North Hampshire
* The future of transport in Central Hampshire and the New Forest
* The future of transport in South Hampshire
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Melville Kendal, said: “Transport matters to everyone in Hampshire. To help us produce a long-term transport strategy that is relevant and meaningful for Hampshire for the next 20 years, we want to involve people and hear their views. We have developed a set of emerging priorities that cover what we consider to be the key issues, and would very much like to know whether people agree that these should be top of our list.
“Recent announcements by the Government have confirmed there will be significantly less funding to deliver much-needed transport infrastructure improvements over the next five years and beyond. In these challenging economic times, we think we should therefore focus on getting the most out of what we already have – our existing network. For example, highways maintenance has always been a priority for Hampshire’s residents, and we are proposing that it should remain our top priority. We also recognise the importance of transport in supporting our economy. On this and other issues such as traffic congestion and public transport, this consultation will help us gain a clearer understanding of what is important to people when it comes to roads and transport, so that we can focus our efforts on these areas.”
The deadline for responses to the consultation is Wednesday 29 September 2010. To find out more and to respond to the consultation, click here or telephone: 01962 846 778 if you require a printed copy.