Dominic Browne 13 March 2018

Hammond opens bids for £840m transport pot

Hammond opens bids for £840m transport pot

In his Spring Statement, chancellor Philip Hammond opened bidding on the remaining £840m from the Transforming Cities Fund for improving transport in English cities, boosted skills funding and pledged a consultation on cuts to VED for businesses that buy cleaner vans.

The £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund was announced at Autumn Budget 2017 when around half of it was given to combined authorities with mayors.

Mr Hammond announced that a £29m construction skills funds will open for bids next month and there will be a further £80m to help small business engage apprentices.

The Statement saw the allocation of the first wave of funding from the £190m Challenge Fund to help roll out full-fibre to local area, providing over £95m for 13 areas across the UK.

Andrew Allen from Campaign for Better Transport, said: 'We welcome the chancellor’s confirmation that new transport funding will be available to all English cities, not just those with mayors. This funding is essential in cleaning up toxic air, rebalancing the economy and tackling social exclusion.

'Cities need to take advantage of this opportunity and invest in viable bus services, improve cycling and walking infrastructure and help deliver the Government's commitment to expanding the rail network.'

The RAC said motorists would be 'very disappointed' that the chancellor did not address the condition of local roads. Head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: 'As a result of the ‘beast from the East’ some local roads will have deteriorated even further, possibly to the point that they represent a serious risk to the safety of users.

'Figures from the RAC reveal that pothole-related breakdowns soared in the first week of March following the bitterly cold spell the country experienced. Our patrols attended some 218 call-outs per day on average between 4th March and 6th March, a rise of 110% on the period in the run-up to the cold spell.'

This story first appeared on Transport Network.

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