We have been working together for some time to develop the plans for sert. A major public consultation in Summer 2009 indicated overwhelming public support for the scheme and what it is trying to achieve.
In April 2010, we made a bid to the Government to secure funds to build sert. Following the election and the coalition Government's spending review, we were asked to confirm our continued interest in building sert, which was done in January 2011. To reflect the changing economic climate, we cut the cost of sert by shortening the route proposed to Basildon. We also changed the route in Southend to go to London Southend Airport, where the planning permission to expand operations had just been given.
The Government then accepted these changes, and asked us to make a final bid in September 2011 for the money to build sert. They will then let us know if we've been successful by the end of the year.
After this and the other funding sources are in place, we will put the infrastructure contracts out to tender and strike deals with the companies that will operate the sert services. Construction work will follow and then sert will be on the road. We aim to have the first sert services up and running in 2012, and the first phase will be fully operating by 2015.
- Submission to Department for Transport justifying scheme and seeking funding approval - September 2011
- Department for Transport approval - December 2011
- Detailed design, specification & procurement - January/April 2012
- Construction - April 2012
- Service launch - from late 2012
- First phase complete April 2015