The Government is providing £7 billion in funding to improve transport outside of London.
Prior to the 2021 Autumn Budget Review last Wednesday, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that £7 billion in transport funding will be allocated to devolved areas outside of the capital such as Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, and the West Midlands.
What is this for?
The funding was announced in line with the government’s plans to pioneer the “green industrial revolution”, with British transport pioneering the cause. The government hope this funding will bring transport quality around the country up to the standards of the capital and encourage the population to more and more use public transport and reduce the nation’s carbon footprint with less cars on the road.
A total of £1.2 billion of the funds will be applied through projects such as tram and infrastructure improvements intended to emulate London’s transport efficiency. This funding will also go towards quickening journey times, increasing transport services and reducing fare prices.
£5.7 billion will also cover transport settlements for the areas.
Who does this affect?
In line with the government’s newly allocated Levelling Up Funds, local authorities were able to put forward bids for funding to enhance and improve their local areas in a push to lessen regional inequality.
As part of their Levelling Up Fund submission, Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, requested £1 billion of transport funding from the treasury. They have been allocated £1.07 billion.
Mr Burnham stated: “As welcome as it is, infrastructure investment alone will not make levelling up feel real to the people of Greater Manchester. That will only happen when the frequency and coverage of bus services are increased, and fares are lowered to London levels.
“So, we are now hopeful that the Government will soon build on this foundation and match this allocation with revenue funding to make our Bee Network vision a reality.”
Mr Burnham’s proposed Bee-Network will see buses returning to public control, ensuring Greater Manchester will be the first region outside of London to regulate their bus system.
Other areas to benefit from the funds;
- The West Midlands have received the second largest amount of funding, with £1.05 billion being received.
- £830 million has been provided to West Yorkshire
- Liverpool City Region has been allocated £710 million
- £570 million will go to South Yorkshire
- £540 million for the West of England
- £310 million will also be used for Tees Valley.