City regions outside of London are set to receive a £6.9 billion injection into their public transport infrastructure.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out his plans in Wednesday’s budget.
Greater Manchester, Liverpool, the Tees Valley, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire are among the English city regions included in the plans.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who sparked an intra-party Twitter debate over regional transport earlier this week said the plans were a “welcome step”:
This is a big step towards a London-style, integrated public transport system for Greater Manchester.
We are pleased the Government has backed our vision.
We now just need revenue support to lower fares to London levels and the #BeeNetwork can become reality by May 2024. https://t.co/bXpqajTv4n— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) October 23, 2021
Burnham launched a bid for a £1 billion London-style transport network for Manchester earlier this month.
Liverpool’s Labour mayor Steve Rotherham also welcomed the plans.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also benefit from new funding.
The announcement comes alongside news that the UK’s reliance on cars has reached a 15-year high.
The RAC’s annual poll of motorists, published today, found that 82% respondents reported they would struggle without car access, an uptick from 79% in 2020 and 74% in 2019, despite a decrease in commuting due to pandemic restrictions. It is the highest level recorded since 2006.