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New UK GBP4.2bn fund could benefit light rail

Light rail has been named by the UK’s new Government as a potential beneficiary of a future GBP4.2bn (EUR4.9bn) regional transport fund.

Light rail has been named by the UK’s new Government as a potential beneficiary of a future GBP4.2bn (EUR4.9bn) regional transport fund.

Announced during the run-up to the General Election in December, which resulted in a Conservative victory, the money is expected to be made available from 2022 and is intended for transport projects outside London.

Specifically mentioned were: A new metro or light rail system in West Yorkshire, including to Dewsbury, Pudsey and the Spen Valley; extensions to Greater Manchester’s Metrolink light rail system, including to Stockport and Bolton; upgrades to the Tyne & Wear Metro and new heavy rail lines in the north-east; and extensions to the West Midlands Metro tramway, including routes to North Solihull and Birmingham Airport.

Nominated areas would have to bid for the funding, which would also require local contributions, although other national funding initiatives may also become available. Currently, government funding of transport in the Greater London area is almost 2.5 times greater per person than in the provinces.