Yorkshire leaders have welcomed multimillion-pound funding packages to support transport projects in South and West Yorkshire. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced he intends to allocate £830m to West Yorkshire to support the development of an integrated transport system.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority submitted a £920m bid for a five-year City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) to the government last month (September 2021).
“West Yorkshire bid for the upper limit of funding as allowed by the Government, but our region needs even more, and with certainty over a longer time period, if the government is truly committed to levelling up. As the Prime Minister said, it is indeed a disgrace that West Yorkshire is the only major region in Western Europe without a Metro system, so we desperately need the government to address years of underinvestment in transport in our region,” said West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin.
“We’re keen to get more details on this funding so we can start delivering a 21st century transport service in partnership with our local authorities. Our vision for a more accessible and inclusive transport system which helps us tackle the climate emergency is essential if we are to achieve levelling up.”
South Yorkshire is set to receive £570m out of the funding packages to support major improvements to the region’s bus, rail and active travel network and the renewal of Supertram.
The funding packages are set to be confirmed in the Chancellor’s autumn Budget later this week (27 October 2021).
“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,” said Mayor of South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis. “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.”
Peter Kennan, co-chair of the transport and environment board, South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “This is a massive boost for South Yorkshire’s transport network and our economy. Businesses in our region have been loud and clear in expressing the need for better transport links, and I’m pleased the strength of the bid put forward by the Mayor, Mayoral Combined Authority and LEP has been recognised by ministers.
“The investment will help drive our recovery from the pandemic, boost our productivity, open up new development opportunities and attract more investment, and allow local people and visitors to make the most of the fantastic assets we have here in South Yorkshire.”