The Government is giving England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance £625,000 to help shape its priorities and address inadequate transport infrastructure across the region.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said he had agreed to the strategic body’s request for match funding to put forward its proposal for transport improvements.
Transport minister Andrew Jones
In a speech, Mr Jones said: ‘We know the transport infrastructure across the region isn’t good enough for a region with such incredible potential.’
He cited a train journey of two and a half hours from Aylesbury to Milton Keynes – a distance of 21 miles – and a journey time of almost two hours by train for the 41 miles from Cambridge to Luton.
Mr Jones said he welcomed the intention of what is currently a voluntary partnership of councils and local enterprise partnerships to become a statutory sub-national transport body.
He said: ‘We want to see your plans for reducing road congestion, and speeding up links the region’s airports. And we want to see a vision that links this thinking on transport to thinking on housing and economic growth.’
The transport minister added: ‘The region must put forward its proposal and make the case for the benefits.
‘The Government door will be open, and to help you have asked for £625,000 match fund to get moving. I am happy to confirm that central government is willing to confirm that funding.’