Essex County Council submitted two bids in March 2014 to the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). These bids were for schemes that would improve the sustainable transport network to support the future employment and housing requirements of those areas for the future. An announcement by the government on which bids are to receive funding awards is expected later in 2014, with funding for successful schemes to be provided over the 2015/16 financial year.
Thames Gateway Network (TGN)
This joint LSTF proposal seeks to provide an efficient and recognised bus and train network across Thames Gateway South Essex area. The project focuses on enhancing the best performing, frequent bus services and the existing dense train network that connect the sub-region, especially the growth areas of Basildon, Southend and Thurrock.
These areas are critical locations for jobs and housing growth which require a comprehensive sustainable public transport network to enable this growth. The scheme is a joint bid on behalf of Essex County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council. Proposals include to:
- Expand on the existing implementation of the Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system, to deliver accurate real time passenger information and provide traffic signal priority.
- Implement a phased introduction of smart ticketing measures to capitalise on AVL and on the smart ticketing readers already installed on the majority of the buses.
- Improve public transport journeys through a network based approach.
- Develop a strong and effective partnership with bus and train operators to establish a regionally recognised brand.
- Improved information provision at transport interchanges, providing a more seamless transition between sustainable transport modes.
North Colchester Sustainable Connectivity Corridor
This scheme promotes, encourages and supports sustainable journeys along the North Colchester Sustainable Connectivity Corridor to enable future housing and employment growth. The scheme focuses on workplace journeys as they make up the greatest proportion of traffic along this heavily congested corridor during the peak periods. Proposals include to provide tailored advice, information, support, events and incentives to key destinations along the corridor including hospitals, schools, colleges, the station and town centre businesses. These initiatives will be underpinned by targeted and innovative marketing campaigns such as a smart phone journey planning app. The scheme is a joint bid between Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council.