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Budget 2016 | Further transport devolution promised

Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled plans for further transport devolution across the Midlands, East of England and South West in the Budget.

Midlands Connect is to become a statutory body and the government will help it develop its strategic roads schemes. This includes development work on upgrades to the M1 to provide a continuous smart motorway from London to Yorkshire, improvements to the A46 Newark bypass and its junction with the A1, upgrading the single carriageway link on the A45 Stanwick to Thrapston, and upgrading the M42 and M5 around Birmingham to a four lane smart motorway. There is also to be a Local Majors Fund for the area.

The Budget also allocated £11M to fill the region’s potholes this year and £1M for new car parking at Market Harborough rail station.

Curzon street hs2

Curzon Street HS2 station

The Budget said government would support the development of a new knowledge quarter in the area around the Curzon Street High Speed 2 station

In the Midlands, a new mayoral devolution deal has been agreed with Greater Lincolnshire, giving it more powers over transport and control of a £450M investment fund to boost economic growth.

The Budget also allocated £2M for Birmingham’s Snow Hill district and said it would support the development of a new ‘knowledge quarter’ in the area around the Curzon Street HS2 station (pictured).

Smaller civils firms in the region could benefit from the planned £250M Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

In the East of England a mayoral devolution deal with East Anglia, covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has been announced. It will have powers over transport, planning, skills, and an investment fund of £900M over 30 years to grow the economy.

The Budget confirmed £151M for the Lowestoft 3rd Crossing and the Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing from the Local Majors Fund. The government said it will also look at the case for taking forward other projects, such as the Canvey Island Third Road. It also allocated £5M for the redevelopment of St Albans City station.

A devolution deal has also been announced for the South West, giving it transport powers and £900M over 30 years to grow the economy.

In addition, £5M was announced for developing options to improve the resilience of the rail line between Newton Abbot and Exeter via Dawlish.

A Local Majors Fund was also launched for the region. There was £3M for improvement to the region’s rail stations, £8M for potholes and £500,000 to fund a study into a new junction 18a on the M4 to link with the Avon ring road A4174.

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