Chancellor Rishi Sunak will use his autumn Budget and spending review to trump £6.9bn of regional transport and bus funding – though only £1.5bn of it is actually new money
Image: Manchester Evening News)
A £5.7billion list of transport upgrade projects for eight regions of England is set to be confirmed in next week’s Budget and spending review.
Rishi Sunak will try to fulfil faltering ‘levelling-up’ vows by spelling out where cash will be spent on buses, trams, roads, cycling and electric vehicles over the next five years.
On top of the £5.7bn, Mr Sunak will pledge £1.2bn on buses by 2025 to “speed up journey times, simplify fares and increase the number of services” outside London, with details in the coming months.
But of the £6.9bn to be announced only £1.5bn is new money.
The cash for city regions was already announced as £4.2bn and is being increased. The £1.2bn on buses comes from a £3bn pot Boris Johnson already announced in March.
Overall Greater Manchester will get £1.07bn, West Midlands £1.05bn, West Yorkshire £830m, Liverpool City Region £710m, South Yorkshire £570m, West of England £540m and Tees Valley £310m.
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The North East is set to get just over £600m but projects will not be spelt out until a regional governance shake-up is complete.
The Chancellor said projects will include improving the A61 between Wakefield and Leeds for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.
New Metrolink tram vehicles will be ordered in Manchester while rail stations are revamped in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Runcorn.
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Ashton-Under-Lyne and Bury will get new bus corridors, the West Bradford Cycle Superhighway will be extended and cash will allow the Midland Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill to be completed.
In the South West, the A4 will get a “fully prioritised bus route” between Bristol and Bath and the A37 and A367 will be improved.
Mr Sunak said: “There is no reason why somebody working in the North and Midlands should have to wait several times longer for their bus or train to arrive in the morning compared to a commuter in the capital.
“This transport revolution will help redress that imbalance as we modernise our local transport networks so they are fit for our great cities and those people who live and work in them.”
Full list of projects
(Descriptions / language are the wording of the Treasury)
Greater Manchester (£1.07billion)
- Next generation Metrolink tram-train vehicles
- New bus corridors and interchanges in Ashton-Under-Lyne and Bury.
- Creating a 140-mile active travel network across Greater Manchester
South Yorkshire (£570million)
- Starting Supertram renewal
- Bus priority expansions via signalised junctions using real time detection
- Bus and Active Travel priority corridors, incl. the development of a “Dutch style” roundabout in Barnsley Town Centre.
West Yorkshire (£830million)
- West Bradford-Cycle Superhighway Extension
- Improving the A61 between Wakefield and Leeds for buses, cyclists and pedestrians, and giving buses greater priority in Wakefield
- An enhanced electric vehicle programme in Kirklees, including the provision of charging on residential streets
Liverpool City Region (£710million)
- Battery packs for new Merseyrail trains to expand the reach of the existing network
- New and rejuvenated stations in Liverpool and Runcorn
- A multimodal interchange in St Helens to link housing, employment and developable land
Tees Valley (£310million)
- Upgrades to Darlington and Middlesbrough stations, improving rail links through the Tees Valley
- A programme of bus corridor improvements, strengthening public transport links between towns, including Redcar to Middlesbrough
- Creating new, safe active travel links from Redcar Town Centre and South Bank to Teesworks, providing better sustainable access to a major employment site.
West Midlands (£1.05billion)
- Metro extension, including the completion of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension (2023)
- New Transit Stations for ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging
- Completion of Sprint Phase 2 bus rapid transit across Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country
West of England (£540million)
- A4 corridor improvements, including a fully prioritised bus route between Bristol and Bath
- Improving links from the Somer Valley into both Bath (A367) and Bristol (A37)
- Improved pedestrian and cycling access across Bath including in Cheap Street/Westgate Street and Kingsmead Square.
North East (just over £600million)