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Beckett pledges £170m for transport schemes

The Government has pledged £170 million of funding to 29 transport projects supporting new housing.

The money is for rapid bus routes, pedestrian and cycle bridges, and improvements to road junctions.

The joint announcement from housing minister Margaret Beckett and transport minister Paul Clark will also protect and create 2,200 jobs and directly support 40,000 new homes to be built over the next decade, the Government said.

The types of schemes include:

  • New public transport facilities, such as the new South East Hampshire Bus Rapid Transit scheme
  • New road and junction improvements, such as the improvements to the Southgate area of Kings Lynn which will support the development of 900 new homes
  • Innovative transport solutions that will ensure smoother traffic flows and reduced congestion such as the A14 Ramp Metering scheme in Kettering and the Urban Traffic Management Scheme in Aylesbury
  • Schemes to improve sustainability, such as the Wichestowe Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge which will provide a sustainable means for the new development at Wichelstowe to access the town centre in Swindon

Another 26 schemes are being invited to submit full business cases for consideration for a further £30 million from the Community Infrastructure Fund together with any remaining funding from the first round. Decisions will be announced over the summer.

Over half the schemes propose sustainable transport solutions such as bus routes, rail improvement or park and ride facilities, with some schemes covering a combination of travel modes.

Mrs Beckett said: “This funding will help to deliver new homes that we desperately need to meet long term demand from first time buyers and families on waiting lists. We know that good transport links are vital to successful communities and these projects will unlock the potential for new housing where it is needed. By investing today in tomorrow’s infrastructure we are helping to ensure the foundations are in place to support economic recovery, while also creating and safeguarding jobs right now.”

Mr Clark said: “I am delighted by the quality and range of schemes that we are funding. Around 60 per cent of the schemes that we are supporting include sustainable transport initiatives - reflecting a real commitment to supporting housing growth through sustainable means.

“Transport is essential to supporting housing growth and the Community Infrastructure Fund is real evidence of the significant focus that Government places on this critical policy.”