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North East studies transport, economy, climate change

carsPartners in the North East have responded to a Government consultation on the region’s transport priorities over the next 30 years.

The Department for Transport (DfT) had asked each region of the UK to submit a work programme of studies as part of the “Delivering a Sustainable Transport System” exercise to examine how economic growth can be achieved at the same time as tackling climate change.

The North East is to receive up to £2 million over the next two years to fund the research into transport’s role in relation to the region’s economy and competitiveness, health, quality of life, the natural environment and climate change.

As national transport investment priorities to 2014 are largely set, the Sustainable Transport System consultation is asking regions to identify those areas of transport infrastructure that they want to examine in order to feed into Government’s investment plans beyond that date.

The North East’s submission has been led by One North East and the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) with input from the business community, transport operators and environmental groups. The formal submission was signed off by the One North East Board and the Leaders’ Board of 12 local authorities.

“The North East is already pioneering new developments in areas such as electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support it,” said Margaret Fay, chairman of One North East. “This research will allow us to assess such things as the future impact of these new technologies and importantly build the evidence base needed to secure future investment. In addition, the work programme will make a significant contribution to the development of the new regional strategy for the North East.”

“Transport is fundamentally linked to economic development and in providing quick and easy access to jobs and marketplaces, which has even greater importance in the current economic climate,” added Cllr. Mick Henry, Chair of the Association of North East Councils.

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