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English Regional Transport Infrastructure

Transport – in the House of Commons on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton

What steps he is taking to increase spending on transport infrastructure in the English regions.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

It is a great joy to join you from sunny Pendle, Mr Speaker.

We are investing in transport infrastructure to level up the United Kingdom, with £500 million to reverse the Beeching cuts and £5 billion extra support for buses and cycling.

Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton

Some of us do not have those hair problems, Mr Speaker.

Will the Minister confirm his commitment to investment right across the north—not just the big projects, such as northern powerhouse rail, from the east coast through the west coast, but the smaller but no less important projects, such as the dualling of the A64 in my constituency?

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I am happy to provide my hon. Friend with that reassurance. The integrated rail plan is looking at various transport investments in the north, and we very much intend that still to report by the end of this year. On the dualling of the A64, I can assure him that that is now officially in the road investment strategy 3 pipeline, and it will be investigated carefully as we prepare to make decisions for the next strategy.

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Transport)

It is so good to see so many cities and towns now putting in place infrastructure to support active travel, particularly cycling, but not everyone can work or cycle to work, not everyone has a car and no one wants the new normal to be cars clogging up the streets and despoiling the clean air. Why are the Government not working with city regions and other councils on a safety-led scaling up of passenger transport, why did they not talk to local leaders about public transport before urging a return to work and why is there a support package for Transport for London but not for other major cities?

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

We are working closely with all the metro Mayors and the devolved mayoral combined authorities to get this policy right. It is incorrect to say that we have provided support only for Transport for London. As was talked about in Treasury questions, we have already provided significant support for things such as the Manchester Metrolink and other schemes. It is right to say, though, that we need to ensure that inclusive travel is at the forefront of this, and there is a huge amount of work under way in the Department to ensure that disabled people particularly, are able to return safely to work and use the public transport network that so many depend on.