The government’s Transforming Cities Fund is accelerating its drive to transform transport, with the confirmation that two further towns will benefit from a share of the investment.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and Preston will receive a share of the £2.5 billion government fund to ensure its businesses that use the road network will benefit from much faster and easier journeys in the future.
Both are in line for £50,000 so that business cases can be developed to deliver these necessary benefits.
It follows September’s announcement of 10 cities shortlisted from an £840 million investment to transform and upgrade infrastructure and transport links.
Part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, the Transforming Cities Fund was initially a commitment of £1.7 billion. However, the Autumn Budget saw the Chancellor extend this, such is the need for road and rail improvements.
The levels of investment – and the wider commitment to the country’s infrastructure – have been welcomed; and now, two further regions are set to improve their respective transport networks.
Both have individual ideas as to what is required; for Preston, an upgrade of the South Fylde and East Lancashire rail lines are very much front and centre of thinking.
For Bournemouth, the local authority wants to develop cycle highways, high-speed direct buses, and use technology to deliver real-time traffic management.
Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, spoke about the latest announcement.
He said: “Our great cities and their suburbs are home to world-leading businesses.
“The Transforming Cities Fund will help develop good bus, cycle and tram routes to transform transport systems – making it easier for people to get around and get to work, school or the shops.
“We want to see more places like Preston and Bournemouth, Pool and Christchurch benefit from better and more sustainable transport links to help the area flourish.”
Already, £1 billion of the investment has been allocated to the six Mayoral authorities and in the next five years, transport links will be drastically improved throughout the country.