£1.2billion reallocated HS2 funding set to transform region's transport links - The Evesham Observer

£1.2billion reallocated HS2 funding set to transform region's transport links

Evesham Editorial 28th Feb, 2024   0

COMMUTERS are set to benefit from better public transport, reduced congestion and upgraded bus and train stations as the Government continues to reallocate funding from HS2 to revolutionise transport.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, have confirmed that the West Midlands will receive a boost of almost £1.2billion from April 2025 through the Local Transport Fund to improve the transport connections that so many people rely on every day, particularly across smaller cities, towns, and rural areas over seven years.

Smaller cities, towns, villages, and rural areas all across the West Midlands – from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to Worcestershire and Warwickshire – will all receive a share of almost £1.2billion.

The funds come from the monies available after the northern leg of HS2 were scrapped earlier this year.

Mr Sunak said: “We have a clear plan to level up our country with greater transport links that people need and deliver the right long term change for a brighter future.

“Through reallocating HS2 funding, we’re not only investing almost £1.2billion directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across the West Midlands, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matters most to them – 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 pounds of funding we’ve already invested into our roads, buses and local transport services across the country.”

The funding, which will be available for projects between 2025 and 2032 can be used for projects including refurbishing bus and rail stations, improving roads by filling in potholes and better street lighting for personal safety, building new roads and improving junctions.

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

“We welcome this announcement and the improvements it will bring for our communities and businesses across the Midlands, and we will continue to work with Government and support our local authorities, to ensure these vital Network North transport upgrades are delivered.”

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