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SOUTH EAST RESIDENTS ARE CONTENT, DESPITE HOUSING AND TRANSPORT PROBLEMS

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Nine out of ten residents are satisfied with the quality of life in the South East, according to a new survey; 40% ...
Nine out of ten residents are satisfied with the quality of life in the South East, according to a new survey; 40% rate it as 'very good', and 50% as 'fairly good'. However affordable housing, traffic congestion and the quality of public transport are the top priorities for improvement in the region.

The South East England Regional Assembly commissioned MORI to carry out an opinion survey as part of the preparation of the South East Plan, the region's new 20-year planning vision. MORI interviewed over 1,800 residents from across the South East about perceptions of their local area, the region and specific issues such as housing, transport and employment.

Key findings on housing

-66% of the respondents believe that the cost of housing is a serious problem.

-Over 70% of those polled want 2-3 storey terraces homes, town houses, detached or semi-detached homes.

-Seven out of ten people are concerned that infrastructure such as transport, schools and community services to support housing growth is inadequate in the region.

Findings on transport

-Traffic congestion is a serious problem for 45% of people.

-50% say improvements to bus and rail services are key priorities.

-Respondents are concerned that congestion will get worse with more development. Despite this, 65% of those polled oppose the introduction of a congestion charge.

Other findings

-Crime and vandalism were mentioned as a priority to address by 46% of the respondents.

-35% of the respondents said that opportunities and facilities for young people should be a priority.

The first stage of opinion surveys for the South East Plan was completed at the end of March. The research report is available on the South East Plan website www.southeast-ra.gov.uk/southeastplan

The next two stages of the opinion research will take place between April and June 2004, and in early 2005.

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