Smart Transport

UK transport schemes get major funding boost

Transport secretary Grant Shapps

Funding worth £7 billion is being provided to ‘overhaul and level up’ major local transport schemes outside of London.

A total of 31 counties, city regions and unitary authorities will receive funding for their local bus services to make them more frequent, more reliable, easier to understand and use, cheaper, or greener.

Other improvements include integrated ticketing and more bus lanes to speed up journeys.

The successful areas have been chosen because of their ambition to repeat the success achieved in London – which the Government says drove up bus usage and made the bus a natural choice for everyone, not just those without cars.

As the Government stated in last year’s national bus strategy, Bus Back Better, areas not showing sufficient ambition, including for improvements to bus priority, would not be funded.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Buses are the most popular way of getting around in this country – but for too long people outside of London have had a raw deal.

“The investment we’re making today to ramp up the bus revolution will drive down fares at a time when people’s finances are tight and help connect communities across England.”

Mayoral combined authorities will also receive funding for buses from the £5.7 billion City Region Sustainable Settlements (CRSTS), as announced in last year’s Autumn Budget.

The funding will help regions boost local bus, tram, rail, walking and cycling networks over the next five years.

It aims to help deliver, among other things, a new mass transit network in West Yorkshire, improvements to rail services in the Tees Valley, a flat fare on buses in Greater Manchester and bus rapid transit corridors in the West Midlands.

Letters have been sent to the metro mayors outlining the funding they will receive.

Tram and light rail operators across the Midlands and the North will also share £37 million of funding as part of the Government’s pandemic recovery package.

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