The North West will receive a share of a £1.7bn Government transport package, to fill 1.5m potholes, install priority bus lanes and undertake other improvements to make journeys “quicker, smoother and safer”, according to roads minister Baroness Vere.
The Department of Transport Fast also announced that it would fast track UK construction works worth £175m, to ensure that crucial repairs are made to road and rail networks while fewer people are using public transport.
Transport for the North welcomed news of the funding. Chief executive Barry White said: “This investment needs to support the country’s economic recovery and help level up infrastructure so that our people and businesses can get around as they need to.
“Our members have made clear that crystal clear communication and extreme caution will be the watchwords throughout this critical time as we head towards a new normal.
“This package of measures and others made recently should be seen as just the start of what needs to be a fully funded move towards levelling-up our national transport network to provide the best possible chance of economic recovery.”
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reiterated his message to the public that it has a “civic duty” to avoid public transport where possible.
He said: “If you can’t walk or cycle but you do have access to a car, please use it.”
Meanwhile, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham took aim at central Government over a shortfall in emergency transport funding for the city region, while Transport for London received a £1.7bn bailout.
And still Greater Manchester waits for a few million … https://t.co/w0gve8NnMM
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) May 14, 2020
Burnham tweeted his reaction to the news, which came after London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned that the capital’s underground service could run out of money. Bunrham has repeatedly called for more funding to support Metrolink.
Greater Manchester’s light rail network has seen a dramatic reduction in revenue due to reduced passenger numbers during lockdown.