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Regions bemoan transport cash shortfall

REGIONAL AUTHORITIES this week expressed their frustration that major transport improvement schemes have been denied cash in the long-awaited regional transport plans.

These transport schemes are vital to support housing and economic growth, reducing congestion and maintaining a good quality of life, ' said East of England Regional Assembly regional planning panel chairman John Reynolds.

'Funding was allocated on a per-capita basis, not on a needs basis, and does not take account of this region's national, strategic importance, ' he said.

He added that schemes could be re-submitted when the next bids for regional funding are invited in perhaps four years.

West Midlands Regional Assembly said it would have to seek other funding streams for crucial schemes like the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station.

Major schemes will instead be put forward for the Transport Innovation Fund, which was made available for projects that will contribute to economic growth and regeneration.

The South East England Regional Assembly said that it would look to its Regional Spatial Strategy to argue for more cash.

'We don't believe there is enough money here to support the growth expected in the region. So the challenge now is for us to demonstrate that case, ' said head of infrastructure implementation Martin Tugwell.

Missing the cut

The following schemes are among a multitude refused approval as too expensive or in need of detailed development:

East of England

A120 Braintree to Marks Tey Improvement

Yorkshire & Humber: Leeds Supertram extension, and improvements of A160/A180 to Humber ports

East Midlands Dualling of the A46 between Newark to Widmerpool.

North East A19 Coast Road Junction Improvements West Midlands Birmingham New Street Station redevelopment: South East A21 Baldslow Junction improvements

For more on schemes that made it and those that failed go to www. nceplus. co. uk

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