Prioritising investment

The A5 Dunstable Northern Bypass -1-

A fundamental role of EEH is to advise government on the investment priorities which will support our economic and net zero ambitions.

Connectivity studies

Our multimodal studies identify potential interventions to improve the transport system across a number of strategic corridors. See our dedicated connectivity studies webpage.

Investment framework

Work is nearing completion on a 'matrix' tool which will enable interventions to be identified based on various criteria. It will not rank schemes but will give an indication of their significance in contributing to a series of outcomes for the region, defined by the ambitions of the transport strategy. See our report to the July 2023 Board.


Work has begun on refreshing EEH’s freight strategy and establishing a freight forum with Transport East and Transport for the South East which brings together key players from across the public and private sectors.


East West Rail: East West Rail is the over-riding transformational opportunity for our region. As our transport strategy states, it must be the catalyst for improving the transport system across the whole region. EEH and the East West Main Line Partnership played a pivotal role in securing the government’s recommitment to delivering East West Rail to Cambridge. We will now work with local partners, DfT, Network Rail and East West Railway Company to maximise the opportunities from investment in East West Rail to create a lasting legacy for residents and businesses, alongside supporting the case for the link to Aylesbury and the wider East West Main Line.

Ely: Improvements to capacity at Ely are crucial to enabling more freight to be carried by rail from Felixstowe to the Midlands and North. EEH worked with partners, including private sector logistics companies and infrastructure owners, to make the case for investment in the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement scheme, which would remove 98,000 lorries from our roads every year. We were delighted when government committed to the scheme in October 2023. In January 2024 we received a response from the Minister of State for Rail regarding a letter urging it be delivered as soon as possible.

Great British Railways: In 2023 we began the process of establishing a ‘Wider South East Rail Partnership’ with Transport East and Transport for the South East as the forum to influence Great British Railways decision-making. See our report to the July 2023 Board, section four.

Rail objectives: In 2023 EEH has completed work setting out strategic objectives across the different rail lines within the region. This will be followed up in 2024 with work identifying at the interventions required to achieve these objectives.


Oxford to Cambridge connectivity roads study: Throughout 2022/23 England’s Economic Heartland worked with DfT and National Highways to take forward work to identify where investment in the region’s road network may be required to support economic growth and to alleviate existing issues and constraints. The study is due to be published shortly.

Major Road Network: The Major Road Network is the country’s busiest and most economically important local authority ‘A’ roads. As sub-national transport body, EEH is responsible for preparing the region’s advice in respect of investment priorities for the MRN and Large Local Major (LLM) schemes programme. See our update to Board, section five and annex.

Strategic Road Network: EEH is working with National Highways as it develops its next road investments strategy. See our update to the July 2023 Board.