1.1 The Implementation Plan is the first step towards setting out the actions and next steps for delivering the schemes and policies presented to achieve the four thematic ambitions of the fourth East Sussex Local Transport Plan (LTP). The Implementation Plan is split into four sections:
- Funding and financing
- Roles and responsibilities in delivery
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Delivering our plan
2. Funding and financing
2.1 This section sets out the opportunities for funding and financing the proposed interventions identified in the LTP.
2.2 A key challenge in delivering the LTP will be funding availability; how the schemes are ultimately paid for over time, with consideration to the costs of construction, maintenance and renewals and operational costs. An additional barrier, in the short term, will be routes for financing; how and from whom the funding is raised to meet the costs of construction as they arise.
2.3 However, the LTP is made up of several diverse schemes and there is not going to be a ‘one size fits all’ funding and financing solution that applies across the programme. So over the timescale of the plan, up to 2050, this LTP, more than previous plans, will provide ESCC, their partners and communities, an opportunity to explore opportunities to innovate how funding can be secured and combined to deliver transport infrastructure interventions and initiatives.
Strategic transport schemes
2.4 Traditionally, strategic transport schemes have been funded from a combination of user or farebox revenues and central government grants which are bid for and provided to delivery bodies and transport authorities.
2.5 The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) is a periodically updated list of enhancements that Network Rail is expected to deliver within each Control Period and is tied to government spending review allocations. Previous RNEP schemes in East Sussex have included the £18m re-signalisation of the line between Lewes and Newhaven completed in 2019.
2.6 Funding for strategic road network highways interventions is generally provided by DfT to National Highways and allocated as part of the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) process. For example in RIS1, covering the period 2015 to 2020, the Government allocated £75m towards small scale improvements to the A27 east of Lewes including localised capacity improvements, safety enhancements and a shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists along the length of the route. These were completed in March 2023.
2.7 This is alongside the DfT’s Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme providing investment for local authorities for road enhancement schemes on the most important local authority roads, including opportunities to support multi modal journeys. At present the County Council is working on business cases to secure major road network funding for the A22 in Hailsham and Stone Cross as well as the A259 corridor from the east of Brighton through to the east of Eastbourne.
2.8 Funding for bus-based solutions and services is generally very context specific and accordingly does not fit within established modal regulatory funding settlements and is secured in combination with the local highway authorities and bus operators. ESCC has been successful in securing £41.1m of DfT Bus Service Improvement Funding to improve services and infrastructure.
2.9 Since 2021 the DfT has encouraged local authorities to develop Local Cycling & Walking Investment Plans (LCWIP’s). This is alongside the establishment of Active Travel England in August 2022, who are a government agency set up to manage the allocation of active travel funding alongside managing active travel scheme delivery performance. This is applying a strategic approach to the delivery of walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure at a local level. For active travel schemes, local authorities and their partners bid into government grant programmes to help fund active travel. There are currently dedicated programmes managed by Active Travel England including the Active Travel Fund and Capability Fund, and the Bikeability Trust’s Bikeability programme.
2.10 Crucially, to maximise the opportunities to secure funding for the integration of active travel as part of complementary funding programmes, working with partners, bids are included as part of programmes with broader transport, regeneration, health and environmental objectives. ESCC secured over £20m of funding for active travel schemes through the South East Local Enterprise Local Growth Fund and has more recently secured funding from the Levelling Up Fund and the Towns Fund to develop and deliver schemes that support active travel. Active travel measures also form part of the two MRN business cases currently being developed to secure funding for improvements to the A22 at Hailsham and Stone Cross, and the A259 corridor from east of Brighton to east of Eastbourne. Going forward, the Government has committed to streamlining the process for accessing funding for active travel infrastructure as part of the ‘Gear Change’ strategy through Active Travel England. ESCC and their partners are supportive of this approach, especially longer-term funding programmes to help realise the benefits of schemes.
2.11 The continued existence of a centralised funding regime for most types of strategic connectivity schemes suggests that they will continue to be funded, at least in part, from central sources, especially given the strong case for investment. However, the future quantum of government funding that will be allocated to transport infrastructure (beyond current spending plans) is, of course, unknown – although historical trends can provide some indication.
2.12 There will be a focus on the potential revenue sources that could contribute to the types of interventions identified in the LTP and the role of different stakeholders in channelling these funds to support the investment need.
Local transport schemes
2.13 For local transport schemes, the East Sussex LTP Implementation Plan identifies existing options for funding transport schemes, including central government funding, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) funding, County Council capital and revenue expenditure and development contributions.
2.14 Funding for passenger transport improvements is through County Council capital and revenue expenditure, Government and regional funding for specific projects, and development contributions. Capital development contributions are being used to improve bus stop facilities, by ensuring they are designed to comply with accessibility requirements, and to help fund the roll out of real time passenger information across the county. In conjunction with Bus Service Improvement Plan funding, revenue contributions are also used to subsidise bus services in areas where development requires sustainable transport solutions but before services have become viable.
2.15 Private sector development contributions are necessary to supplement and support other major funding streams and bids for external funding, particularly where a local contribution is often required. Development contributions are used to fund measures at a variety of levels from small site-specific projects, such as a bus stop upgrade or a pedestrian crossing, to helping to fund major transport measures, such as road junction improvements and town centre schemes. All measures mitigate the impact on the transport network from the increased travel demand generated by development including the cumulative impacts from all development in an area.
Highway Maintenance Funding
2.16 Through the Highways Act 1980, Councils are required to keep the roads in a safe and usable condition. This is undertaken and funded through two types of maintenance programmes:
- Reactive maintenance, where reported safety defects such as potholes are repaired in line with the Council’s maintenance policies to keep roads safe to use as contained in the East Sussex Highways Inspection Manual. This is funded from the Council’s revenue budget.
- Planned maintenance, is funded from the councils capital programme, where a programme of planned works such as surface dressing and resurfacing, structural maintenance, street lighting and road reconstruction is undertaken to maintain road condition against the Council’s performance targets. This funding comes primarily from the Department for Transport (DfT) road maintenance grant funding.
Future sources of funding
2.17 Given the investment horizon of the LTP and as the devolution agenda continues to evolve, it is conceivable that innovative new funding mechanisms will form part of future funding deals for transport schemes. Mechanisms that may play such a role in the future delivery of the LTP may include:
- The diversion of incremental revenues from existing taxes or charges in specified locations, e.g. the CIL, business rates, Council Tax or Stamp Duty.
- Increased rates, or other enhancements, to existing taxes and charges such as a Council Tax precept, business rates supplement or a supplementary CIL.
- New local charging mechanisms, such as a betterment levy or ‘transport premium charge’ (TPC), or land pooling or sharing the proceeds of development rights
There is also an opportunity to look at funding reform beyond the prism of specific interventions or modes. For example, there is a growing trend for broader ‘growth deals’ with government whereby a package of investments is agreed that might stretch beyond transport to, for example, housing delivery, and in return unlock either matched funding and / or access to wider revenue-raising powers at a local level.
3. Roles and responsibilities in delivery
3.1 Across East Sussex multiple organisations have different responsibilities for spatial planning, provision of transport infrastructure and services, and economic development, all of which shape our communities and the way we travel. No single organisation will be solely responsible for delivering the LTP.
East Sussex County Council
3.2 The implementation plan identifies schemes where the County Council will play a key role in delivering schemes, and where we will play a coordination role.
3.3 Through development of the LTP, the County Council will play a role in setting the governance structures by which schemes are delivered and play a programme management role which may include scheme prioritisation, government and stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and evaluation.
3.4 We will also play an advocacy role on all schemes, supporting pre-feasibility work, identifying funding and likely delivery partners, and other key stakeholders, and work with them for onward business case and scheme development and support to secure funding.
3.5 Roles and responsibilities of other key agencies identified for delivery of identified schemes and policies are summarised below.
3.6 Central government will play a significant role in delivering many of the packages of interventions in this plan. This includes the Department for Transport, but also other government departments and their agencies (e.g. National Highways, Active Travel England) and arm’s length bodies. Their role will include:
- setting national policy for existential and wide ranging topics including climate change and new technology regulation
- setting investment and business case development frameworks to guide the planning and delivery of interventions
- guiding the development and delivery of nationally significant infrastructure and networks (e.g. through setting National Policy Statements)
- regulating the transport system (including economic and safety regulation); and
- in some cases, funding interventions
Network Rail, Great British Railways and rail operators
3.7 The British rail industry is currently undergoing one of the most significant periods of structural reform of the last three decades. In the immediate future, it is assumed that the Department for Transport will continue to outline the strategy for the rail network. Network Rail will continue in its role as infrastructure manager for the rail network, and that train operating companies will continue to deliver passenger rail services. However, in the medium term, we expect Network Rail’s strategic and planning functions (along with other industry functions) will merge into a new government agency, Great British Railways. This new agency will lead the future development of the rail network in Great Britain and specify future infrastructure and service needs, and lead delivery of the strategic rail schemes identified to deliver service enhancements which improve connectivity within East Sussex and to other regions.
3.8 National Highways will lead the development and delivery of highway interventions on the strategic road network which in East Sussex includes the A27, A259 from Pevensey to east of Rye (except in Hastings borough), the A21 north of Hastings and the A26 between Lewes and Newhaven. It will also support interventions where the Strategic Road Network interfaces with local transport authority highways. National Highways will utilise its internal project control framework to develop the business case for highways interventions. Funding will be allocated through the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) which cover five-year time periods and delivered through the Road Investment Programme (RIP).
District and borough councils
3.9 District and borough councils have a very significant role to play in delivering this plan. Importantly working in partnership with ESCC they will ensure alignment of spatial planning and public services with transport planning to ensure development is joined up and efficient and supports the development of healthy places.
3.10 The district and borough councils, through the development management process, are also able to secure transport infrastructure improvements as part of development as well as secure development contributions (s106 and Community Infrastructure Levy) which can be utilised to deliver transport infrastructure.
Private sector and third parties
3.11 Private sector partners and third parties provide important assets, operations, funding, and insights; as well as being key planning and delivery partners.
3.12 The private sector may be involved in the delivery of interventions, including the renewal and maintenance, where the private sector or non-governmental organisations (e.g. Sustrans), have the expertise in delivering specific outputs which cannot exist in the public sector alone.
3.13 Land and other asset owners and developers, as highlighted under the ‘District and Borough Councils’ section may deliver infrastructure and services identified, or provide funding contributions towards their delivery.
3.14 The private sector may be involved in operating and maintaining public transport services, and operate rail, bus and other shared mobility services.
4. Monitoring & Evaluation
4.1 We will establish appropriate governance to oversee the development, delivery and benefits realisation arising from schemes and policies included in this strategy.
4.2 East Sussex will develop a set of transport outcomes and wider socio-economic and environmental indicators (KPIs). These will be used to not only monitor progress against our goals and priorities, but also help make the case for further investment. They should also be used by scheme promoters delivering interventions contained within this implementation plan.
4.3 A selection of potentially suitable KPIs for monitoring and evaluation of the packages of interventions in this plan are presented below for which place and intervention specific targets will be set.
Tackling climate change and enhancing our local environment
- Reduction in carbon emissions by transport
- Reduction in NOx, SOx and particulate pollution levels in urban areas
Safer, healthier, and more active travel
- Increase in active travel mode share over time, by different user groups if data is available
- Reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured by road and rail transport
Integrated and accessible transport for all
- Increase in rail and bus mode share over time, by different user groups if data is available
- Measuring the increase in the number of cross-modal interchanges through delivering strategic mobility hubs in East Sussex
- Measuring the increase in percentage of new allocated sites in Local Plans that are supported by high frequency bus, rail and active travel
Keeping East Sussex connected
- Reduced minutes delayed and improved journey time reliability on the Strategic Road Network, Major Road Network and local roads
- Improved operating performance on the railway network, measured by Public Performance Measure (PPM) and other available passenger and freight performance measures, where available
5. Delivering our plan
5.1 This section presents an indicative action plan which outlines the schemes and policies proposed by the LTP, with focus on identifying the short-term next steps to advance the scheme or policy towards delivery. Schemes are geographically specific, focussed on delivering improvements to users along a particular transport corridor or in a given location (eg town or village centre), or for users travelling to, from and within an area of East Sussex. Policies are packages of activities which are not location specific and may be rolled out appropriately across the East Sussex region.
Initial Deliverability Assessment
5.2 The initial deliverability assessment presented in this Implementation Plan aims to identify and prioritise the schemes and policies where work can commence or continue immediately in the short-term (e.g. within the next 5 years) to progress a scheme to the next stage of development. In many cases, this work will get the scheme or policy to a stage where elements of the intervention can be delivered, and benefits start to be realised in the next 5 years.
5.3 The schemes and policies are presented as per the four thematic chapters of the Local Transport Plan.
- Tackling climate change and enhancing our local environment
- Safer, healthier, and more active travel
- Integrated and accessible transport for all
- Keeping East Sussex connected
5.4 For each theme, the schemes and policies are presented under two tables:
- The first table presenting schemes and policies where East Sussex County council have a lead role in progressing scheme development or delivery, and
- The second table presenting schemes and policies where a partnering organisation has a lead role and development and delivery.
5.5 For each scheme and policy in these tables, the following is identified:
- stages of development to be completed in next five years;
- shorter-term next steps;
- likely funding sources; and
- supporting partners which need to be engaged for delivery.
5.6 However, it is important to note that progress in undertaking the various stages of scheme development will be dependent on the availability of national, regional and local funding and ESCC and their partners ability to secure this.
Scheme/Policy Development Stages
5.7 Under the stages of development to be completed in the next five years, the following three stages have been identified. (It is important to note that these stages will be dependent on ESCC and their partners ability to secure appropriate levels of funding to bring the proposed stages forward).
- Study – there is little to no existing evidence which explore the potential benefits of the intervention, East Sussex can play a key role in advancing the strategic case for investment, identify objectives, desired outputs and outcomes and work with delivery partners to explore the idea further to advance the scheme to development stage.
- Develop – existing feasibility studies have been undertaken into the potential benefits of the scheme, however there is a need for greater development of the business case of the intervention, which may include analytical work to strengthen the economic case, identifying routes for funding, and conducting greater technical assessment of the scheme assessing deliverability risks and environmental impacts, such that the scheme is ready for delivery.
- Deliver – there is strong business case evidence already developed with strong stakeholder support. There is an identified funding route for delivery. There are few risks identified which have yet to be mitigated. East Sussex or supporting partners can therefore mobilise the delivery of elements of the schemes and policies and deliver tangible benefits within the next 5 years.
Scheme/Policy progression through Development Stages
5.8 In a number of cases, there will be schemes and policies which can be studied, developed and delivered within the next five years.
5.9 Furthermore, there are schemes and policies where East Sussex and partners can study and/or sufficiently develop the case such to develop a pipeline of schemes that are ready for delivery, but given timescales for delivery and other deliverability constraints, are unlikely to commence or be fully delivered in the next 5 years. For example, this could include railway schemes where the nature and lag-time of industry funding cycles mean enhancements presented in the LTP are unlikely to be considered for delivery in the next Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline Period, and therefore at an earliest will be delivered in Control Period 8 (2029-2034) or later.
5.10 Finally, schemes such as the reopening of the Uckfield - Lewes Line and Spa Valley Line for Modern Operations are unlikely to involve any short-term actions (e.g. within the next five years) for East Sussex or partners. This is because they will rely on other schemes to be delivered, be reliant on national policy or technological advances, or require significant funding to be made available before a scheme can be studied or developed.
6. Implementing Theme A: Tackling Climate Change and enhancing our Local Environment
6.1 The two tables below outline the schemes and policies identified in the LTP to deliver net zero carbon objectives.
6.2 The key schemes centre around the electrification of the two key unelectrified sections of railways serving East Sussex. The Uckfield line south of Hurst Green is the only radial rail route from London in the South East which is unelectrified. Network Rail have previously studied the possibility of electrification but have yet to develop detailed plans for delivery. The Marshlink line between Ashford and Ore to the east of Hastings will require electrification if HS1 services are to be extended to East Sussex. This is a key ambition for the area to improve strategic connectivity and support levelling up objectives in Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne which currently has the most uncompetitive rail journey times with London of all coastal towns on the South Coast.
6.3 Network Rail, with support from ESCC can play a key role in studying the feasibility and gaining stakeholder support for these rail electrification schemes, working with other partners such as Newhaven Port, Train and Freight Operating Companies, HS1 and the Private sector to advance the scheme in the short-term such that it can be delivered in the medium-to-longer term. Accompanying schemes which further enhance passenger and freight connectivity on these lines are captured in other chapters.
6.4 The key policies identified focus on providing zero-emission transport options for users, such as rolling out EV charging infrastructure across the county to support the uptake of zero-emission vehicles; and rolling out zero-emission buses across the network. Complementing this are policies which support sustainable mode shift away from private vehicle use to other modes such as bus and active travel, which are themselves enhanced through schemes and policies identified in other chapters.
7. Implementing Theme B: Safer, healthier and more active travel
7.1 The two tables below outline the schemes and policies identified to deliver active travel enhancements to support safer and healthier communities.
7.2 This includes the development and delivery of inter-urban, urban and rural active travel corridors and the opportunities for increased active travel within towns and villages as well as improvements to public realm and spaces, connecting residents with jobs, key services and to support leisure and tourism within East Sussex.
7.3 Supporting policies to increase the attractiveness of active travel options for users. Policies which redesign road space to active travel such as traffic calming measures, pedestrianisation and car free areas will make active travel safer for users. Promoting initiatives such as mobility hubs will facilitate first and last mile journeys made by other modes. Travel behaviour change programmes and delivering local active travel plans will further promote sustainable options and enable local areas to identify appropriate solutions to maximise the uptake of active travel.
7.4 East Sussex, with local district and borough councils and the South Downs National Park Authority as well as organisations such as Sustrans, local developers and National Highways in relation to the Strategic Road Network, can play a key role in promoting these schemes and policies and delivering the vision of an extensive, inter-connected active travel network across the region.
8. Implementing Theme C: Integrated and accessible transport for all
8.1 The two tables below outline the schemes and policies identified in the LTP to deliver bus-based enhancements to ensure that public transport provides a compelling and competitive alternative to private car use, and to ensure that all users, particularly vulnerable users (i.e. children, older and disabled people), can access key services and employment opportunities.
8.2 Schemes include inter-urban, urban and rural bus enhancements and complementing accessible multi-modal strategic mobility hubs. Furthermore, the LTP promotes policies which deliver accessible future mobility solutions to facilitate inclusive active travel.
8.3 Schemes and supporting policies have mostly been promoted in the East Sussex Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) and the TfSE Strategic Investment Plan and facilitate integrated public transport connectivity across all areas of East Sussex.
8.4 East Sussex, with local district and borough councils, the South Downs National Park Authority, neighbouring councils and local transport operators, can play a key role in promoting aspirations for public transport on these corridors and start to deliver the vision of an extensive, inter-connected public transport network within and beyond East Sussex into adjacent Brighton and Hove, West Sussex and Kent. The BSIP captures the development of different corridors to date for delivering improvements to different bus corridors, which are summarised below. Aspirations of enhancing some existing bus services are more developed than others, with some corridors experiencing growing ridership and residents and operators alike identifying a clear need for service enhancement to meet and stimulate demand. Where there is an absence of an existing route, more work to study how populations can be best served to maximise utility will need to be undertaken.
9. Implementing Theme D: Keeping East Sussex connected
9.1 The two tables below outline the strategic highway and railway schemes and policies identified in the LTP to improve passenger and freight connectivity within East Sussex and to neighbouring authorities including Kent, West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, London and beyond. These schemes and policies focus on increasing the capacity and resilience of the transport network; and facilitate sustainable economic growth and prosperity in East Sussex.
9.2 A number of Major Route Network (MRN) schemes have been identified which have existing designs in place and require East Sussex to work with Local District and Borough Councils and neighbouring councils to further develop, secure funding and commence delivery in the shorter-term. There are also several Strategic Road Network schemes already being considered by National Highways at various stages of development, which can be supported by ESCC to advance development. Similarly, there are railway service improvement aspirations along the East and West Coastway lines that are included in the train operating companies (TOCs) business plans and being considered by train operators (Govia ThamesLink Railway, GTR). This is alongside enabling infrastructure enhancements that are required to deliver these service improvements which Network Rail have identified in regional route studies. Both the rail service and infrastructure improvements can be supported and promoted by East Sussex County Council alongside the TOCs, Network Rail and local partners to progress towards delivery in the medium term.
9.3 For strategic road and rail schemes at an earlier stage of development with limited evidence to date, East Sussex, with local district and borough councils, neighbouring councils, Highways England, Network Rail, should look to undertake feasibility studies during the next five years to identify the benefits of these schemes such that they can be prioritised by delivery partners (e.g. Network Rail, National Highways) for further development and delivery in the medium to longer term.
9.4 Improved digital connectivity in urban and rural both reduce the need for travel by providing virtual access to employment and key services, whilst also supporting the roll-out of digital initiatives which enhance and optimise the transport network, through Mobility as a Service initiatives giving users choice and up to date information around the most appropriate travel options, which provides transport resilience. Digital policies require support from innovators in the industry to develop technical solutions, and support from Local District and Borough Councils for delivery and implementation.
9.5 Policies which promote holistic freight and logistics planning are also key to achieving desired outcomes. These policies which promote innovative rail and first mile/last-mile solutions need to be explored in conjunction with the freight and logistics industry as well as local businesses to ensure freight movements to and from East Sussex and into its towns and villages are optimised and decarbonised. This will be undertaken through the development of a separate freight strategy in 2024