Local leaders to receive £4.7 billion to transform transport

Local leaders to receive £4.7 billion to transform transport across the North and Midlands

A new £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund (LTF) has been announced by the Government this week (Monday 26 February).  Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper have confirmed that the North of England will receive £2.5 billion and the Midlands will receive £2.2 billion from April 2025 to improve local transport connections that so many people rely on every day, particularly across smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.

This investment – announced as part of Network North – will deliver a long-term funding uplift across the North and Midlands over seven years. It’s the first transport budget of its kind that’s specifically targeted at smaller cities, towns and rural areas and empowers local people and local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities – helping create jobs, grow the economy, and level up the country.

Over the 7 years as a whole this funding will be on average at least 9 times more than these local authorities currently receive through the local integrated transport block which is the current mechanism for funding local transport improvements in their areas.  The Local Transport Fund will be made available from 2025 to give local authorities enough time to develop their funding plans and prepare to hit the ground running to ensure they are delivered as soon as possible.  It comes as the Prime Minister is set to chair a Cabinet meeting in Yorkshire today where he is expected to call on ministers and MPs to hold local authorities to account to ensure the funding is used appropriately and that the voices of local people are heard when decisions are made on where this funding goes and how this funding is spent.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Through reallocating HS2 funding, we’re not only investing billions of pounds directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across the North and Midlands, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities – this is levelling up in action.  This investment will give local authorities long term certainty to invest in transformative and ambitious transport improvements from 2025 through to 2032 including:

  • building new roads and improving junctions
  • installing or expanding mass transit systems
  • improving roads by filling in potholes and better street lighting for personal safety
  • improving journey times for car and bus users by tackling congestion
  • increasing the number of EV chargepoints
  • refurbishing bus and rail stations
  • improving our streets so they are safer to walk children to school and increasing accessibility for all
  • To ensure local authorities can make the most of this unprecedented funding, the department will publish advice for local councils and transport authorities to help them develop ambitious plans to improve local transport infrastructure in their areas.”

The current allocation of funding to Blackburn with Darwen Council is £1,435,000, and the additional Local Transport Funding over 7 years from 2025/26 to 2031/32 will be £116,911,000.

Further information can be found here.