News

Billions to be handed to metro mayors to deliver transport overhaul



R

ishi Sunak is set to pump billions of pounds into transport to give metro mayors the power, and responsibility, to improve key links.

The Treasury said nearly £7 billion would be given to areas such as Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire for projects ranging from tram improvements to introducing London-style improvements in infrastructure, fares and services.

The investment will be seen as a win for Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham who has been heavily lobbying the Government to hand over the cash for his region to launch a London-style transport system.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham (Jacob King/PA) / PA Wire

Labour’s Mr Burnham had called for £1 billion and put pressure on ministers during the Tory Party conference in Manchester earlier this month.

He had said that handing over the money for him to introduce his London-style Bee Network would make political sense for the Government, because Boris Johnson could blame him if it failed and take credit if it succeeded.

And the Treasury has confirmed Greater Manchester will be given £1.07 billion in next week’s Budget and spending review.

The announcement is also being touted as a vote of confidence in the devolution agenda as all those awarded cash are areas with metro mayors.

Mr Burnham said the funding was an “important first step” that “shows the Government is listening to the case that Greater Manchester is making”.

But he said that ongoing revenue funding would also be needed.

“As welcome as it is, infrastructure investment alone will not make levelling up feel real to the people of Greater Manchester.,” he said.

“That will only happen when the frequency and coverage of bus services are increased and fares are lowered to London levels.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *