£4.7 Billion Allocated to Revolutionise Transport Infrastructure in the North and Midlands

In a landmark announcement today, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper unveiled a ground-breaking £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund aimed at transforming transport connectivity across the North and Midlands regions of the UK. Starting in April 2025, this unprecedented budget allocation will fuel a comprehensive overhaul of public transport systems, alleviate congestion, and modernise local bus and train stations, benefiting millions of residents in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.

With £2.5 billion earmarked for the North and £2.2 billion for the Midlands, the investment underscores a strategic commitment to empower local authorities in addressing the pressing transportation needs of their communities. The initiative, part of the broader Network North program, represents a paradigm shift in funding priorities, focusing squarely on smaller locales to stimulate economic growth, foster job creation, and advance the government’s agenda of national levelling up.

Prime Minister Sunak highlighted the significance of redirecting funds from the HS2 project, emphasising the tangible impact of investing directly in regional infrastructure. The Local Transport Fund, spanning a seven-year period, promises a substantial increase in resources compared to existing funding mechanisms, providing local councils with the certainty and flexibility needed to pursue ambitious transport initiatives.

The allocation will support a spectrum of projects ranging from road construction and junction improvements to expanding mass transit systems and enhancing pedestrian safety. Furthermore, investments in electric vehicle infrastructure and refurbishing bus and rail stations underscore the government’s commitment to sustainable mobility and inclusive access.

To ensure efficient utilisation of the funds, the Department for Transport will collaborate closely with local authorities, offering guidance on project development and implementation. Stringent accountability measures will be enforced, with councils mandated to publish comprehensive delivery plans and engage with both governmental oversight and community stakeholders throughout the process.

Transport Secretary Harper emphasised the transformative potential of the investment, heralding it as a game-changer for smaller communities often overlooked in national infrastructure planning. The funding allocations reflect a concerted effort to redress regional disparities and foster inclusive growth across the North and Midlands.

Echoing this sentiment, leaders from Transport for the North and Midlands Connect expressed optimism regarding the fund’s implications for regional development. By consolidating funding streams and empowering local decision-making, the initiative is poised to expedite tangible improvements in transport accessibility and connectivity, laying the groundwork for a more prosperous and interconnected future.

In addition to direct infrastructure investments, the government announced a series of complementary measures, including the expansion of contactless and smart ticketing systems and substantial investments in bus services, further underscoring its commitment to enhancing mobility and reducing barriers to travel.

In sum, the £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund represents a watershed moment in regional development, signalling a concerted effort to redress historical imbalances and unlock the full economic potential of the North and Midlands. As the government charts a course towards comprehensive national levelling up, strategic investments in transport infrastructure stand as a cornerstone of this transformative agenda.