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Darling gives municipals £1.6bn

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ENGLISH LOCAL authorities will share a £1.62bn cash pot in 2005/06, transport secretary Alistair Darling announced last week.

Just over £400M will go on major schemes, with £552M allocated for new local integrated transport schemes and £660M to be spent on highway maintenance.

Three major public transport schemes have been given the goahead: the £12M upgrade of Watford Junction rail station; £28M to introduce London's 'red routes' in the West Midlands; and £14.5M for Castleford integrated transport scheme.

Three major local road schemes have also been approved: £15M for the Edge Lane West scheme to improve the Eastern gateway to Liverpool; £39M for the Sittingbourne northern distributor route; and £47M for the Bexhill to Hastings link road.

The £9M replacement of Copnor Road Bridge in Portsmouth and £11M of crucial maintenance to Derby Inner Ring Road has also been approved.

Seven further local transport schemes have been given final approval, including the South Lowestoft relief road, the Stoke Hammond and Linslade bypass in Buckinghamshire, and the Barford bypass in Warwickshire.

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