Transport + Energy is carrying out a series of exclusive interviews with a number of guests appearing at this year’s ITT Hub event. This week, we chat to Mark Valleley, Technical Lead at Transport for the South East – who will be speaking in the Energy Theatre Hub.
Q. What is the role of Transport for the South East?
A. “Transport for the South East is the sub-national transport body (STB) for the South East. Our role is to identify and prioritise the larger scale transport investment that will be needed in the region. At the heart of this is our transport strategy, which was published in summer 2020 and sets out our partnership’s shared vision for a better connected, more prosperous and more sustainable South East. This summer we will consult on our draft strategic investment plan – the blueprint for future investment in strategic transport infrastructure in the south east over the next thirty years.”
Q. What are some of the main challenges facing the Transport for the South East Partnership and the local authorities and local enterprise partnerships who you represent?
A. “As set out in our transport strategy, we, like many of our local transport authorities, are committed to facilitating continued economic growth whilst achieving net zero carbon emissions. Transport is the single biggest contributor to UK carbon emissions, and we recognise that addressing this challenge won’t be easy.
“For local authorities in particular, there is a disconnect between transport planning and land use planning which creates a high risk that many planned development sites set out in Local Plans are at risk of locking in car use, due to the lack of integrated planning around how future residents will travel to and from local services.
“The ending of the sale of diesel and petrol fuels will have a huge impact on revenue generated from Fuel Duty and Vehicle Excise Duty. This will need to be replaced and there needs to be a national conversation about how we use and pay for travel and transport to better manage demand and create a more integrated and sustainable system.”
Q. When it comes to decarbonising transport, what needs to be prioritised?
A. “To successfully decarbonise transport there needs to be a whole systems approach, to provide consistency across Government departments, regional and local transport bodies.
“Identifying a carbon baseline which all key actors sign up to, along with an agreed methodology for assessing the impact of different types of interventions in different places would help this. There needs to be clear roles and responsibilities for all those with a role in delivering reductions in emissions so that they are each aware of the part that they must play.
“Across the South East, our local authority partners are putting in place local transport plans to increase walking and cycling, support the move away from fossil fuels and reshape communities around the needs of people, not vehicles. We have set up a South East regional transport decabonisation forum to help them with this work.”
Q. Many local authorities have declared climate emergencies. How can sub-national transport bodies support them on their journey to Net Zero?
A. “STBs and local authorities both have a vital role to play in delivering the response to this challenge. Central Government funding will need to be aligned with the plans and policies to support authorities to reduce emissions in their areas.
“As set out in our transport strategy, we, like many of our local transport authorities, are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions in the South East by 2050 at the latest. Our role as Transport for the South East is to make sure that the programme of investment priorities we put forward at a regional level will reduce carbon emissions contribute to this goal.
“As the STB for the South East, we are working to set out what the pathway to net zero looks like for the South East and what contribution the schemes and initiatives identified through our work and that of our partners will make to it. Our South East transport decarbonisation forum aims to help with this work by sharing best practice and identifying areas for joint working.”
Q. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s ITT Hub event?
A. “Following the success of last year’s ITT Hub we are really excited to be a part of the event for a second year. This year is a big one for us as we are going to be launching our Freight, Logistics and Gateways Strategy at the event.
“This strategy highlights the vital importance of the freight sector to the South East region and the action needed to drive the sector forward. The South East is home to a large number of major international freight gateways that enable freight movements to and from the continent and to and from the whole of the UK. Investment in the South East will benefit the operation of the sector across the whole of the UK.
“Our strategy sets out the challenges that need to be tackled to enable the growth of the industry to keep up with the growing population and economy in a sustainable manner. It recognises that to meet this demand the South East region needs continued investment to better support the freight and logistics sector with greater awareness of the needs of the sector amongst local authorities, particularly in planning for its future requirements.
“It also acknowledges there is an opportunity to harness new technology that would help meet the growing demand and reduce the negative impacts of freight transport on road networks, residential areas and carbon emissions. We’re really looking forward to talking to people about the strategy and getting the views of others as we commence its delivery.”
About ITT Hub 2022
ITT Hub is the annual meeting place for the commercial road transport sector, bringing together the latest innovation and technology for bus, coach, truck, van, last mile and autonomous vehicle fleets. The event is taking place from 11-12 May 2022 at Farnborough International.
With this sector set to revolutionise as the industry transitions to net zero, the need for collaboration, learning, networking and experiencing is more potent than ever.
ITT Hub provides a platform for showcasing the latest technology, equipment and services in the indoor and outdoor exhibition, learning and collaborating at the high profile Future Logistics conference and the opportunity to experience brand new vehicles in the Ride & Drive test routes.
Energy Theatre Hub 2022
This is the place where debate and discussion on transport issues will have energy running through the heart of them.
Three panel discussions each day with transport industry guests covering the latest topics affecting energy and infrastructure, including daily distribution sessions from National Grid and Western Power Distribution, who are acting as hub partners.
Transport + Energy will be hosting a number of the sessions over the two days of ITT Hub and can be found on Stand 1028 at the event. You can register to attend here.
Image courtesy of Transport for the South East.