Calls made for slice of £5bn transport funding to be spent in Portsmouth area

CAMPAIGNING has begun for Portsmouth and the surrounding area to get a share of a new government funding pot.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 5:22 pm

The government announced today that £5bn will be spent over the next five years on improving bus and cycling services across the UK.

Prime minister Boris Johnson says this investment could give communities ‘the foundations to thrive’.

It came as the government also announced that the first stage of the HS2 project, connecting London to Birmingham, would be going ahead.

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A bus drives through the bus lane in London Road, Hilsea. Picture: Allan Hutchings (151531-276)

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Now, politicians and transport bosses will be putting their bids forward to the government, hoping to secure a portion of the funding.

Transport for the South East works alongside First Group, South Western Railway, local authorities and more to steer transport policy in the region.

Chairman of the group, Councillor Keith Glazier, said: ‘The south east contributes more to the UK economy than any region outside London and is our country’s main international gateway for people and goods.

‘When the south east prospers, so does the whole UK.

‘That’s why we need to see increased investment in our transport infrastructure, helping to grow the economy and create jobs.’

Meanwhile, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is hopeful of more direct investment into her constituency.

She said: ‘I know that many of my constituents heavily rely on public transport day to day for easier and greener travel.

‘I am very pleased to see this investment and look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to our local area.’

The government hopes that the funding will lead to the creation of more than 250 miles of new cycle paths and introduce at least 4,000 new zero-emission buses.

More frequent services, more efficient routes and a decrease in fare prices have also been promised.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘We want everyone across this country to have the transport services they need to improve their lives and opportunities – to do that, we must invest in the here and now.

‘Through today’s buses funding we’ll be bringing about a transformation in bus services to every community, speeding up journeys and capping fares to make high-quality services the norm.’