The South West of the UK will benefit from new railway stations and funding for a West of England mass transit system in a major funding boost to create stronger public transport networks.
A total of £36 billion in savings from HS2 will be reinvested in hundreds of transport projects across the country, delivering more buses, reopening railway stations and ensuring major funding for new and improved roads.
This is the part of the already announced Network North plan, launched by the Government earlier this week, which will still see HS2 delivered between Birmingham and Euston in central London.
But every penny that would have been spent extending the route will instead be redirected into roads, rail and buses to drive economic growth and provide jobs across the country., said the government.
The government will seek to establish a Development Corporation in London to create a transformed ‘Euston Quarter’ and look to leverage private sector investment in the process. This will unlock £6.5 billion to invest in projects that people and communities really need around the country.
In the South West, these funds will be provided for rail improvements, including reopening and reintroducing passenger services to Wellington and Cullompton.
Five miles of track will be reinstated, with a new station at Tavistock to connect it with Plymouth.
Further benefits for the South West will include:
- funding set aside to complete the South West Resilience Programme in full, making the vital route between Exeter and Plymouth via Dawlish more resilient in the face of extreme weather
- funding the opening of railway lines between Cullompton and Wellington, and Tavistock to Plymouth, connecting communities on these routes
- £140 million in funding to ensure the delivery of 12 road schemes across the South West – among them the A38 in North Somerset
- a further £1 billion fund will be launched for new road schemes in the South West, South East and East of England
- access to a £2.8 billion roads resurfacing fund for the South West, South East and the East of England to combat the potholes causing misery for drivers
- the popular £2 bus fare will also be extended until the end of December 2024 instead of rising to £2.50 as planned
- the West of England will also receive c.£0.7 billion from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Settlement 2 (CRSTS2) budget, plus a further £0.1 billion on top – funded from HS2. That is 40% more than their allocation under CRSTS1 (c.£0.8 billion versus £0.5 billion).