Commuters around Bournemouth and Preston will benefit from faster and easier journeys thanks to a share of a £2.5 billion government fund.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole plus Preston will receive £50,000 to develop a business case. They join 10 other cities across England who have been successfully shortlisted for the Transforming Cities Fund which was first announced at the 2017 Budget.
The fund will support the development and creation of new innovative public transport schemes developed to improve journeys and tackle congestion in some of England’s biggest cities. Commuters will benefit from better connected journeys making travelling to work and for leisure easier than ever before.
Bournemouth is looking to develop cycle highways and high-speed direct buses from outlying areas, improve transport hubs and enhance its use of technology to have real-time traffic management, a comprehensive travel app and setting the area up for better use of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Preston will look to develop plans to upgrade the South Fylde and East Lancashire rail lines, a parkway station at Cottam and interchanges for intra-urban buses, cycling and walking.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
Our great cities and their suburbs are home to world-leading businesses. The Transforming Cities Fund will help develop good bus, cycle and tram routes to transform their transport systems – making it easier for people to get around and get to work, school or the shops.
We want to see more places like Preston and Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch benefit from better and more sustainable transport links to help the area flourish.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP said:
I am delighted that residents of Bournemouth and Preston will be able to benefit from extra funding for transport in their areas. We are investing in infrastructure projects across the country to boost productivity and improve people’s day-to-day lives. These 2 cities join 10 others who have already benefited from our commitment to keep Britain moving.
More than £1 billion has so far been allocated to 6 Mayoral authorities in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, the West Midlands, the West of England, and Cambridge and Peterborough, providing significant transport improvements. This includes £160 million towards the Beeline Cycle Network in Greater Manchester which will see 1,000 miles of interlinked bike and pedestrian lanes connect communities across its 10 boroughs, helping to make cycling and walking a safer option for people living in the region.
Over the next 5 years to 2023, the funding will be used to improve transport links across the country. Bournemouth and Preston will now also be eligible to apply for a share of £90 million, which is being allocated to support the creation of Future Mobility Zones. These will trial new innovative transport technologies, services, digital payments and smart ticketing.
The Transforming Cities fund is one of a number of measures the government has introduced to support England’s great cities as part of the Industrial Strategy, providing £2.5 billion of funding is towards upgrades for better, safer, faster transport links.