Rishi Sunak will pump £150m of HS2 money into local services

RAIL REPLACEMENT BUSES: Rishi Sunak will pump £150m of HS2 money into local services in the Midlands and Northern England

  • The West Midlands will receive the single largest allocation of £16.6million 

Rishi Sunak said he was delivering a ‘fairer and improved transport system’ by putting £150million into bus services rather than HS2.

The Prime Minister scrapped the northern leg of the rail scheme from Birmingham to Manchester this month, promising instead to put the money into hundreds of smaller transport projects.

The Government has now announced new funding for bus services in the Midlands and northern England in the first stage of a £1billion investment plan.

Mr Sunak said it was the start of his ‘Network North’ plan. 

The new investment forms part of the Prime Minister’s ‘Network North’ scheme launched instead of the high speed rail project

The Government has announced new funding for buses in the North of England after scrapping the Birmingham to Manchester leg of HS2

Rishi Sunak scrapped the northern leg of HS2 at the Tory conference, pledging instead to invest the money into hundreds of smaller transport projects

‘We’re backing buses with one of the biggest ever support packages and keeping bus fares down to ensure the country’s favourite means of transport is more affordable for millions of people,’ he said.

‘This Government is taking the right long-term decisions to deliver on our vision for a fairer and improved transport system by investing billions back into the transport projects that matter most to people and their communities.’

The largest single allocation is £16.6million for the West Midlands Combined Authority, while £16.3million will go to Greater Manchester and there is almost £13.4million for West Yorkshire.

The new cash injection would be enough for 25 million miles of new bus services in the North and Midlands, the Government has said, but it will be up to local authorities to decide how exactly to use the funds.

The West Midlands will get the largest single allocation of £16.6million, while £16.3million will go towards services in Greater Manchester

Some could use the funding to start night services, increase service frequencies on busy route or to introduce new services to different areas, officials said.

The £2 cap on bus fares has also been extended until the end of 2024, the Government has said.

Community services for older people and vulnerable passengers will also receive a 60% funding increase in the amount they can claim for fuel to help keep costs down. 

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