Delivery of PUSH’s growth strategy depends crucially upon the achievement of objectives around transport and accessibility.
Traffic in South Hampshire continues to grow year on year. Traffic flows on most of the M27 motorway exceed its built capacity. Although this motorway is part of the Trans-European Network, it is used to a large degree by local journeys within the sub-region. Car ownership continues to grow, with 80% of households having one or more cars; and the car is used for 61% of all journeys to work. Although bus use has declined, rail use in South Hampshire has continued to grow over recent years. There has been little or no expansion in capacity to cater for this growth on the road and rail networks.
The growth now envisaged by the South Hampshire Strategy would impose additional pressure on the transport networks. Congestion and delays already affect individuals and businesses. On some sections of the road network, very serious delays would occur by 2026 without significant action.
Transport for South Hampshire & Isle of Wight (TfSHIoW) is PUSH’s partner in delivering economic and housing growth in the sub-region and leads on addressing existing and future transport requirements. It is the over-arching strategy, bidding and delivery agent for sub-regional transport projects, programmes, policies and strategic operational matters. The transport partnership has its own business plan which includes a number of key proposals on which TfSHIoW will be working with PUSH in order to implement the South Hampshire vision. Its overall approach is to emphasise the need for a reduction in the need to travel, better public transport options and improved management to optimise use of the network (road and rail), as well as selective and targeted investment.
The delivery of PUSH’s Economic Development strategy is in many aspects dependent on the interplay between new development and transport. As a consequence, the continued partnership working between TfSHIOW and PUSH remains crucial to ensuring that decisions on the location, quantum and type of new development are considered with the aim of striking a balance between future development and the impact on existing transport networks. As a consequence therefore, TfSHIOW continues to seek transport solutions to facilitate development in the sub region and respond to the forecast future transport situation.
The car, in particular, dominates travel, accounting for 70% of all trips and 60% of journey to work trips. However, short trips make up a sizeable proportion of highway network demand, with 38% of all internal car trips less than 5km in length, whilst this rises to 56% from the most densely populated areas. In addition, use of the M27, which, whilst a strategic road, performs an important local distributor function, is characterised by short-distance trips. Public transport currently accounts for just 5% of trips in the area, with 62,646 public transport boardings taking place each day. It is imperative therefore that the public transport mode share increases to provide a more efficient transport network and improve journey time reliability for all. TfSHIoW is working closely with public transport operators, and in particular, the South Hampshire Bus Operators Association (SHBOA), on a number of projects to improve the relative attractiveness of bus travel over the car.
Active modes (cycling and walking) also have a key role to play. Linked to this, the regeneration of our city and town centres as a focus for new development is essential to reduce the need for travel and increase opportunities for walking and cycling for access to employment.
In the absence of new transport schemes, the future for the transport network and economic growth is bleak. If we do nothing, total trips will increase by 11% by 2026, with car travel increasing by 13%, public transport by 3% and active modes by 5%. Indeed, within the public transport forecast, travel by bus would decrease. As a consequence of increased demand for a finite transport network, the network is forecast to become less efficient and as a consequence the potential for economic growth will be dampened. This is hugely undesirable and provides a justification for investment in the transport network and a focus on new development in our city and town centres - in accordance with the PUSH 'Cities First' principle.
Transport for South Hampshire & Isle of Wight (TfSHIoW)
Economy, Transport and Environment Department
Tel: 0845 603 5633