Express & Star

Government pledges £500m for better transport links in Staffordshire and Worcestershire

Staffordshire and Worcestershire will have almost £500 million worth of funding to invest in transport improvements due to the scrapping of the northern leg of HS2.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the region would benefit from £1.2bn of transport funding over seven years.

The money has come from the Government's planned Local Transport Fund which will see West Midlands projects share £1.2 billion that was saved from the axed high-speed track. The cash will be available from April next year and will be rolled out over seven years.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today announced that Staffordshire will get £285.9m and Worcestershire (including Kidderminster and Bewdley) will get £203.7m from the pot earmarked for small cities, town and rural areas.

The Government said councils which receive the money will be able to decide how to spend the allocation themselves urging them to "invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities – helping create jobs, grow the economy, and level up the country".

According to the announcement the funding will be on average "at least nine times more than these local authorities currently receive".

The Government said the funding is the "first fully devolved transport budget of its kind for smaller cities, towns and rural areas".