Hull is among the cities and towns covered. Credit: Place North

Towns the target in latest government transport promise

A £947m investment through the Local Transport Fund in a reallocation of HS2 cash will be “game-changing for smaller cities, towns and rural communities” across Yorkshire & the Humber, the government said.

To be disbursed through the LTF, the programme is designed to redistribute cash as part of the Network North programme that has also seen investment promised for key projects in West and South Yorkshire’s respective mayoral combined authority areas.

Presenting the plan to Cabinet today, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that millions of people in areas such as the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority to Kingston Upon Hull and North East Lincolnshire will benefit from better public transport, reduced congestion and upgraded bus and railway stations, with the funding set to kick in from April 2025 and be allocated over a seven-year period.

This is billed as “the first fully devolved transport budget of its kind targeted at smaller cities, towns and rural areas”.


  • York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority area: £379.6m
  • East Riding of Yorkshire: £168.3m
  • Hull: £161.1m
  • North Lincolnshire: £118.1m
  • North East Lincs: £119.7m

Over the seven years, said the Department for Transport, the funding will be on average at least nine times more than these local authorities currently receive through the local integrated transport block which is the current mechanism for funding local transport improvements..

Sunak said; “We have a clear plan to level up our country with greater transport links that people need and deliver the right long-term change for a brighter future.

“Through reallocating HS2 funding, we’re not only investing nearly £1bn directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across Yorkshire and the Humber, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matters most to them – this is levelling up in action.

“The Local Transport Fund will deliver a new era of transport connectivity. This unprecedented investment will benefit more people, in more places, more quickly than HS2 ever would have done, and comes alongside the billions of pounds of funding we’ve already invested into our roads, buses and local transport services across the country.”

The DfT said that the 2025 start will give local authorities enough time to develop their funding plans and prepare to hit the ground running. The type of projects include:

  • Building new roads and improving junctions
  • Installing or expanding mass transit systems
  • Improving roads by filling in potholes and better street lighting for personal safety
  • Improving journey times for car and bus users by tackling congestion
  • Increasing the number of EV chargepoints
  • Refurbishing bus and rail stations
  • Improving streets so they are safer to walk children to school and increasing accessibility for all.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: “Today’s £947m investment is truly game-changing for the smaller cities, towns, and rural communities across Yorkshire and the Humber, and is only possible because this Government has a plan to improve local transport and is willing to take tough decisions like reallocating funding from the second phase of HS2.

“This new funding boost will make a real difference to millions of people living across Yorkshire and the Humber, empowering local authorities to drive economic growth, transform communities, and improve the daily transport connections that people rely on for years to come.”

The news comes as York & North Yorkshire, Hull & East Yorkshire and Greater Lincolnshire press on with the type of devolution deals already in place elsewhere.

The South and West Yorkshire Combined Authorities already benefit from £1.4bn of City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements from 2022-2027. They have also been allocated more than £3.5bn in the second round of funding from 2027-2032 to improve transport across Yorkshire and the Humber in the long term, funded in part from reallocated HS2 funding.

Other projects under the Network North banner for redistributing the £19.8bn allocated to the North under HS2 include a new railway station for Bradford, West Yorkshire’s £2.5bn mass transit system and electrifying the Sheffield to Hull railway.

There are also projects covered by the Levelling Up Fund, including upgrading the Penistone Line.

Lord Patrick McLoughlin, chair of Transport for the North, said: “We welcome this funding for our local transport areas as a sign of progress towards transforming the north to a more inclusive, sustainable and better-connected region. By having greater clarity on the funding that’s available, and consolidating funding streams, it helps remove inertia and accelerates delivery on the ground.

“TfN look forward to working with government and local leaders, because we know that the travelling public will get better results the more locally the decisions are made on how those services should be provided.”

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Not that you’d get much for all that money… An 18 mile widening of the A66 for one extra lane on each side costs £1.3 billion, more than all this money combined. HSS2 and NPR would have provided far more benefit for all these areas by removing the express trains of the Victorian lines and allowing far higher local and regional frequencies.


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