£1.4bn for Yorkshire transport
A £1.4bn programme of transport improvements for West Yorkshire and York has been agreed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Road improvements, a new junction on the M62, rail line upgrades and increased opportunities for park and ride at more accessible stations are among schemes to be undertaken under the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund. Over 30 projects are scheduled for completion by 2021 with a further six, including a second NGT Line (trolley buses) to the Aire Valley between Leeds and Wakefield, scheduled for delivery by 2025.
All of the schemes in the programme have been devised and assessed for impact on unlocking economic benefits in terms of creating GVA and employment and housing growth across West Yorkshire and York. These objectives are in line with the Strategic Economic Plan drawn up by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and adopted by the Combined Authority. As part of the Growth Deal settlement announced in July 2014, West Yorkshire and York secured a 20 year settlement of £30m per year to support the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund. This will deliver a further £420m in government funding from 2021-22 to 2034-35.
Combined Authority Transport Committee Chair, Cllr James Lewis, said, ‘This is an ambitious programme designed to meet the objectives we set out when we established the Combined Authority and we are committed to ensuring it is delivered. When we signed the City Deal the Transport funding was conditional on our raising finance locally through the levy. This won’t be easy to find given the substantial cuts facing us locally. However, if we want to meet the ambitious objectives we set out when we established the Combined Authority, we also need to be prepared to take the difficult decision required to achieve them.’