Armitt: new funding welcome – but further devolution needed to boost local transport

Published: 27 Sep 2018


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A tram in Nottingham

Sir John Armitt today welcomed Government plans to invest £840 million in improving transport within 10 city regions across the UK – and urged ministers to go even further by devolving even more powers and funding to local leaders.

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission said devolved funding for cities was a key recommendation from the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment, and would enable cities to plan their transport investment for the longer term, and in a way that unlocks employment opportunities and delivers much-needed homes.

The Prime Minister confirmed that 10 city regions would be able to bid for a share of £840 million Transforming Cities funding, and would also receive £50,000 each to develop business cases for investment in their areas.

The 10 city regions are:

  • Derby and Nottingham
  • Leicester City
  • The North East
  • Norwich
  • Plymouth
  • Portsmouth
  • Southampton
  • Sheffield
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • West Yorkshire

This comes on top of the £840 million already allocated to cities with Mayoral Combined Authorities.

The National Infrastructure Assessment recommended that cities should be given long-term infrastructure budgets and the opportunity to develop bigger projects where required, to support their plans to boost job opportunities and deliver homes. To deliver this local leaders in cities need an extra £43 billion of investment by 2040 – and the Commission’s work showed that this was clearly affordable within the fiscal remit provided by Government.

Sir John Armitt has written to councils in more than 50 cities offering support from the National Infrastructure Commission as local leaders look to develop these plans.

Responding to today’s announcement Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt said:

“I’m pleased to see 10 city regions across the country benefiting from this funding boost, recognising that the need to tackle congestion makes cities a top infrastructure priority.

“The Transforming Cities Fund has been a great first step, and I would now urge Ministers to go further and devolve even greater powers and funding to local leaders. That will enable them to devise longer term plans for transport, but also to boost employment opportunities and deliver much needed homes.”


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