Leicestershire to receive £238million of extra transport funding originally allocated for HS2

Leicestershire is set to receive £238million of extra transport funding.Leicestershire is set to receive £238million of extra transport funding.
Leicestershire is set to receive £238million of extra transport funding.
It will be used for improvements including fixing potholes, building roads and better street lighting.

Leicestershire is set to receive £238million of extra transport funding originally allocated for HS2.

It is part of a £2.2billion allocation in the Midlands, and £2.5billion in the North, to improve transport connections, focusing on smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.

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It will be available from April 2025 until 2032 and can be used for improvements including building and improving roads, filling potholes and using better street lighting, tackling congestion, increasing EV charge points and refurbishing bus and rail stations.

Decisions on how to spend the money will be made by local councils and transport authorities, and government says communities must be involved to ensure the money is spent quickly and effectively.

Government says by making the funding available from 2025 councils will have the time to draw up plans so they are ‘ready to go’.

The news has been welcomed by Harborough MP Neil O’Brien. He told the Mail: "This is really good news for the county, there are lots of local priorities, which I will be pressing for this to be spent on, ranging from fixing potholes to improving our buses to making our roads more resilient against flooding."

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The money has been reallocated from funding that would have been used for the High Speed Two (HS2) network.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in October that the High Speed rail link between the Midlands and Manchester would be scrapped. The decision prompted anger from political leaders and businesses. Labour mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham accused the government of “disrespecting people across the whole of the North”, while the Conservative West Midlands mayor Andy Street warned getting rid of HS2 would amount to “cancelling the future”.

But government says over seven years the funding is nine times more than the local authorities would currently receive and will benefit people and places more than HS2 would have.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “We have a clear plan to level up our country with greater transport links that people need and deliver the right long-term change for a brighter future.

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“Through reallocating HS2 funding, we’re not only investing billions of pounds directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across the North and Midlands, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities - this is levelling up in action.

“The Local Transport Fund will deliver a new era of transport connectivity. This unprecedented investment will benefit more people, in more places, more quickly than HS2 ever would have done, and comes alongside the billions of pound worth of funding we’ve already invested into our roads, buses and local transport services across the country.”

Maria Machancoses, chief executive of Midlands Connect, added: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to reinvest all of the £19.8 billion from the Northern leg of HS2 in the North and all of the £9.6 billion from the Midlands leg in the Midlands, while the £6.5 billion saved through the new approach at Euston will be spread across every other region in the country.”