Towns on track for Metrolink extensions as Conservatives pledge £4.2 billion for local public transport projects
BOLTON and Stockport are on track for Metrolink extensions with a multi-million pound funding boost promised with a Conservative majority government
A new, devolved and long-term Local Public Transport Fund will give eight mayoral or combined authority areas, including Greater Manchester, the control and certainty of funding they need to invest.
The cash will boost local trains, buses and trams in England’s biggest cities – and the towns around them – with billions of pounds in new spending, it has been announced today.
While local leaders will have the final say over how to spend it, projects it is expected to help fund include extensions to the Metrolink tram system, including to Stockport and Bolton.
£4.2 billion will be allocated to the new fund, with more to come from the Government’s promise of £100 billion for infrastructure investment in the new Parliament.
In September, the Prime Minister also announced that mayors and local leaders will be given significantly more control over existing local rail services, including fares, service patterns, rolling stock and stations.
We will also support Greater Manchester leaders to exercise their new powers over buses under the 2017 Bus Services Act. The Chancellor announced over £200 million to transform bus services in the Spending Round for 2020/21, however a national bus strategy and a long-term funding settlement for buses will also be announced at Spending Review 2020.
Visiting Greater Manchester, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“These plans will change the face of local transport in towns and cities across the country.
“They will kickstartthe transformation of services so they match those in London, ensuring more frequent and better services, more electrification, modern buses and trains and contactless smart ticketing.
“While Labour has confirmed it will raid the budget to build roads, the Conservatives believe in raising funding, improving quality and delivering value for commuters across the UK.
“This goes to the heart of the choice on the 12th December: a Conservative majority government that will get Brexit done and deliverthe transport investment that our towns and cities need. Or a hung Parliament led by Jeremy Corbyn that would spend the next year consumed by the chaos of two referendums.
David Greenhalgh, Conservative Leader of Bolton Council said:
“This is a phenomenal announcement for our area and shows the Conservative commitment to the Northern Powerhouse. The new devolved Public Transport Fund will kickstart the transformation of services across Greater Manchester so they match those in London, ensuring more frequent and better services, more electrification, modern buses and trains and smart ticketing.
“Conservatives in government have done more than any other party to devolve more power, money and responsibility to local people. With this new devolved transport fund, we will be able to go even further to invest in local transport priorities, like funding the Metrolink tram system to Bolton.”