Mayor cautiously welcomes £900 million funding to improve transport across West Yorkshire

Department for Transport confirms City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement figure, plus £70 million

4 April 2022

Passengers across West Yorkshire are set to benefit from £900 million of investment, resulting from bids by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and partner councils. The funding comes from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) and the Bus Service Improvement Plan: programmes of investment aimed at providing an integrated and inclusive transport network.

The announcement includes £830m for the CRSTS, and was made possible thanks to the Mayoral devolution deal agreed in March 2020. Bus and cycle corridor improvements, new Park & Ride sites, local cycling and walking schemes, as well as the use of innovative technology including EV charging points, will be delivered over the next 5 years, helping West Yorkshire to achieve net zero by 2038.

The funding will also be used to deliver general road improvements, improve rail accessibility and connectivity, and develop options for a future mass transit system.

The CRSTS programme builds on projects recently delivered as part of the Transforming Cities Fund, West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme.

Today’s announcement also included £70 million of revenue funding towards the Combined Authority’s Bus Services Improvement Plan, out of the £168 million sought.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“We are committed to making it easier for people to travel around the region, on foot, by bike and public transport, connecting people with job and training opportunities though accessible, attractive and cleaner transport. 

“The £830 million CRSTS programme, of which £339 million is funding from existing funding streams, will help us deliver a transformational programme of new infrastructure and is a further step towards building a transport network that the people of West Yorkshire deserve.

“Delivering these schemes in partnership with our local authorities will allow us to move closer to our goal of an accessible and inclusive transport system, fit for the 21st century.”

“We want buses to be the first choice for travel in West Yorkshire, and our ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan is a major step towards making them more affordable, convenient to use, and better for the environment.

“We took the Department for Transport’s call to “Bus Back Better” to mean that they would give us the tools and funding to deliver tangible benefits to passengers and encourage more people to use the bus. However, despite the Prime Minister’s recent claim in the House of Commons that there has never been “such a bonanza for buses”, the Government’s ambition does not yet match ours.

“The level of funding provided for buses means we will have to make some tough decisions and it will take us longer to deliver the benefits of a fully-inclusive bus service that our plan offers.

“I remain committed to my pledge to bring buses back under local control and will continue to work with local bus operators and other regional partners to introduce simpler fares, contactless ticketing and safer, greener buses for the benefit of everyone in West Yorkshire.”