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£4.7Bn to transform transport across the North and Midlands

Millions of people in the North and the Midlands will benefit from better public transport, reduced congestion and upgraded local bus and train stations thanks to the new £4.7Bn Local Transport Fund.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper have confirmed that the North will receive £2.5Bn and the Midlands will receive £2.2Bn from April 2025 to improve local transport connections that so many people rely on every day, particularly across smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.

This investment – announced as part of Network North – will deliver an unprecedented long-term funding uplift across the North and Midlands over seven years. It’s the first transport budget of its kind that’s specifically targeted at smaller cities, towns and rural areas and empowers local people and local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities – helping create jobs, grow the economy, and level up the country.

The Local Transport Fund will be made available from 2025 to give local authorities enough time to develop their funding plans and prepare to hit the ground running to ensure they are delivered as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Rishi 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 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.”

This investment will give local authorities long term certainty to invest in transformative and ambitious transport improvements from 2025 through to 2032 including:

  • building new roads and improving junctions
  • installing or expanding mass transit systems
  • improving roads by filling in potholes and better street lighting for personal safety
  • improving journey times for car and bus users by tackling congestion
  • increasing the number of EV chargepoints
  • refurbishing bus and rail stations
  • improving our streets so they are safer to walk children to school and increasing accessibility for all

To ensure local authorities can make the most of this unprecedented funding, the department will publish advice for local councils and transport authorities to help them develop ambitious plans to improve local transport infrastructure in their areas.

Councils will work with local MPs and will be held to account by the government as well as their communities to make sure the money is spent promptly and effectively. Local councils will be expected to publish their delivery plans for which projects they wish to invest in.

The funding comes as devolution deals now cover nearly 34 million, or 60% of the English population – up from 41% since the first major levelling up plan 2 years ago, as the government continues to empower local leaders.

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