Southend is 60km to the east of London, at the mouth of the Thames Estuary, forming part of the largest urban area in the East of England. With over 10km of seafront, Southend is the closest seaside resort to London, located within the Thames Gateway, which 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. The aim is to deliver employment led regeneration, whilst maintaining a sustainable balance between jobs and housing. Within Southend, this will require the delivery of 13,000 extra jobs and 6,500 extra dwellings in the period from 2001 to 2021. Southend is home to around 160,000 people and is a major centre for employment, culture, education and shopping.
Southend transport movements are mainly east/west serving the wider urban area of South East Essex and commuters into London. The public transport system will be improved, moving towards seamless travel between bus, rail, walking and cycling particularly to new developments, areas of housing and employment and education. Investment in the regeneration of the Town Centre and seafront has begun, with new transport infrastructure and a strong focus on reducing congestion, rapid transit routes, transport interchanges and mobility marketing and awareness raising.
Bus rapid transit is one of the major projects that is coming to Southend. This project is part of the wider South Essex Rapid Transit programme (www.sert.org.uk) worth £53 million that will bring bus rapid transit to Southend and two other cities. The system should be operational in 2012. Other major transport initiatives include proposed works to improve the integration of the central railway station and bus interchange, and travel planning and marketing.
Southend-on-Sea is/was involved in EU projects:
SAMERU, MEDIATE, BAPTS, TRACE, SUNRISE.