The Thames Gateway is the UK's biggest regeneration area. Stretching out from East London on both sides of the Thames, in South Essex and North Kent work is underway to strengthen and develop communities by supporting local businesses, attracting investment and building new infrastructure.
In South Essex, there are exciting opportunities that can transform the area into a top location for people to live, work and visit. At the heart of this transformation will be a major investment programme - £53m in transport infrastructure and services. This will improve choice for businesses and the local community and help support regeneration of the locality.
In 2005, Essex County Council, Thurrock Council and Southend Borough Council in South Essex published their "Business Plan for Transport". This set out a prioritised and integrated package of proposals designed to underpin the growth and regeneration of South Essex by providing access to health, jobs, education and land for new jobs and housing in a sustainable way. There is no doubt that good transport is essential to unlock these opportunities. However, the challenge will be to develop the growth in a sustainable way whilst at the same time improving the economic prosperity of the area and protecting the environment.
With this in mind, one of the new key initiatives of the Business Plan is an innovative mass transit system called South Essex Rapid Transit (sert). sert will be a catalyst that helps to unlock new development by providing a high quality, fast, efficient, reliable and dedicated passenger transport system by linking up the main development sites within the Thames Gateway in South Essex.