Stoke-on-Trent has been shortlisted by the Conservative Government as one of 10 city regions to receive a share of £840 million to upgrade public transport links.
The news announced marks the next stage of the Government’s £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund. Linking to its Industrial Strategy, the Government aims to support cities to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel and get to work by funding improved transport connections.
Conservative Councillors Daniel Jellyman and Abi Brown ensured the city council submitted an expression of interest for the funding earlier this year and today learned it is one step closer to receiving it. Proposals made include transforming Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station into a major transport hub, improving public transport links – including between the station, city centre and Etruria Valley – and enhancing walking and cycling links across the city.
The 10 shortlisted city regions will each receive an initial £50,000 as well as bespoke support from Government to co-develop the strongest cases for investment. Once finalised, funding decisions will consider the relative strength of each bid and their impact on improving connectivity, supporting employment and driving up productivity.
Conservative Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “This is fantastic news for the city, and especially for commuters and road users. It will allow us to work closely with the Department for Transport and other partners in developing our ambitious plans to improve transport links in and around Stoke-on-Trent.
“We’re making huge investments to our transport networks already – for example our commitment to spend £10.7 million on improving our roads and pavements, upgrading traffic signals, roadside messaging for motorists, and extending red routes.
“We can now work towards establishing a detailed business case about how we propose the money would be spent in further improving our public transport links. This is only the start of the process, but if these plans are implemented it will change the way transportation works in the city for the next 50 years.”
Conservative Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton has previously called for improvements to be made to junction 15 of the M6 at Hanchurch.
He said, “I have been lobbying the Secretary of State for Transport for our city to receive the investment we deserve to improve our rail services and address congestion on our roads.”
“This money will help ensure that our area can prosper, supporting our industries and communities to create the jobs we need.”