Preston and Bournemouth to join the Transforming Cities Fund shortlist
A share of a £2.5 billion government fund will provide commuters around Bournemouth and Preston with faster and easier journeys.
Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Preston will each receive £50,000 to develop a business case, joining other cities across England who have been successfully shortlisted for the Transforming Cities Fund.
The fund is dedicated to supporting the development and creation of new innovative public transport schemes, focused on improving journeys and tackling congestion in some of England’s biggest cities.
Bournemouth is looking to develop cycle highways and high-speed direct buses from outlying areas, improve transport hubs and enhance its use of technology to have real-time traffic management, a comprehensive travel app and better use of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Preston will look to develop plans to upgrade the South Fylde and East Lancashire rail lines, a parkway station at Cottam and interchanges for intra-urban buses, cycling and walking.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “Our great cities and their suburbs are home to world-leading businesses. The Transforming Cities Fund will help develop good bus, cycle and tram routes to transform their transport systems.
“We want to see more places like Preston and Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch benefit from better and more sustainable transport links to help the area flourish.”
So far, more than £1 billion has been allocated to six Mayoral authorities in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, the West Midlands, the West of England, and Cambridge and Peterborough – providing significant transport improvements. This includes £160 million towards the Beeline Cycle Network in Greater Manchester which will see 1,000 miles of interlinked bike and pedestrian lanes connect communities across its 10 boroughs, helping to make cycling and walking a safer option for people living in the region.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “I am delighted that residents of Bournemouth and Preston will be able to benefit from extra funding for transport in their areas. We are investing in infrastructure projects across the country to boost productivity and improve people’s day-to-day lives. These two cities join 10 others who have already benefited from our commitment to keep Britain moving.”
Over the next five years the funding will be used to improve transport links across the country. Bournemouth and Preston will also now be eligible to apply for a share of £90 million, which is being allocated to support the creation of Future Mobility Zones. These will trial new innovative transport technologies, services, digital payments and smart ticketing.