Chancellor confirms '£7bn' fund for transport 'levelling up' outside London actually just £1.5bn of new money

This week it was announced that South Yorkshire will receive a £570m investment from the Government into its transport network.

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 11:13 am

This funding, which has been welcomed by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combine Authority mayor Dan Jarvis, comes as part of what the Government announced ahead of the budget this week as a £7 billion investment into transport outside of London.

However, this morning (October 24) chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that £4.2 billion of the £7 billion announced ahead of the Budget for transport over five years had already been announced for cities in 2019.

Meanwhile, the £1.2bn for bus services came from a pot already promised by Boris Johnson last year, so the fund has actually been topped up by an extra £1.5 billion.

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

Sunak told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “It’s a great example of levelling up in practice, and it’s ultimately just going to create growth in all of those places.”

Sunak is set to officially allocate the money on Wednesday, and Dan Jarvis’ office has already confirmed that £570m of it will be coming to South Yorkshire.

Mr Jarvis said: “South Yorkshire deserves and needs a world-class transport network. I’ve fought hard to secure the transformative investment we need for South Yorkshire and repeatedly called on ministers to match my ambitions.

“That message has finally been heard by Government. The money we have secured will get South Yorkshire moving and help deliver a public transport revolution – benefitting all parts of our region and making public transport the first choice for travel.

“Passengers in South Yorkshire will benefit from faster bus services, upgraded shelters and stops, better rail stations and a massive expansion in high-quality walking and cycle routes.

“I want a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire and this settlement marks a big step forward on that journey.”

The plans, among others, include improving the bus network by giving buses priority on roads, providing better vehicles, stations, and stops.

It includes significant investment in electric buses and installing charging infrastructure at stations and on streets and depots across South Yorkshire to move towards a zero-emission fleet.

Additionally, the funding will go towards the renewal of Supertram, as well as building and improving stations and platforms at the region’s rail stations.