Local leaders get £4.7bn for North and Midlands transport

A new £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund has been announced today for northern and Midlands-based local leaders which includes additional funding for EV charging.

The fund includes £2.5 billion for the north of England and the Midlands will receive £2.2 billion from April 2025 to improve local transport connections from cash that was due to be spent on the HS2 rail project.

The Local Transport Fund is also specifically for communities in the North and Midlands which are outside City Regions which receive City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS). 

Cash will be targeted at smaller cities, towns and rural areas, with the aim of local leaders investing in transport projects that are most needed in their areas. Improvements can include new EV chargepoints, mass transit, new roads and refurbising bus stations, amongst other requirements.

Over the 7 years, funding will be on average at least 9 times more than these local authorities currently receive through the local integrated transport block, the government said.

The Local Transport Fund will be made available from 2025 to give local authorities enough time to develop their funding plans. Government will publish advice for local councils and transport authorities to help them develop ambitious plans to improve local transport infrastructure in their areas.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Through reallocating HS2 funding, we’re not only investing billions of pounds directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across the North and Midlands, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities – this is levelling up in action.  

“The Local Transport Fund will deliver a new era of transport connectivity. This unprecedented investment will benefit more people, in more places, more quickly than HS2 ever would have done, and comes alongside the billions of pound worth of funding we’ve already invested into our roads, buses and local transport services across the country.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Today’s £4.7 billion investment is truly game-changing for the smaller cities, towns, and rural communities across the North and the Midlands and is only possible because this government has a plan to improve local transport and is willing to take tough decisions like reallocating funding from the second phase of HS2.  

“This funding boost will make a real difference to millions of people, empowering local authorities to drive economic growth, transform communities, and improve the daily transport connections that people rely on for years to come.”

Lord Patrick McLoughlin, Chair of Transport for the North, said: We welcome this funding for our local transport areas as a sign of progress towards transforming the north to a more inclusive, sustainable and better-connected region. By having greater clarity on the funding that’s available, and consolidating funding streams, it helps remove inertia and accelerates delivery on the ground. 

Maria Machancoses, Chief Executive of Midlands Connect, said: This funding represents a significant investment in our region’s infrastructure. The Midlands contributes more than £90billion to the UK economy, and to boost that even more, we need reliable transport networks and investment in new technology.”

Image from Shutterstock

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