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York and North Yorkshire to receive £379million for transport, but a long way from levelling-up

27 February 2024

Nearly £950 million of reallocated HS2 funding is being put directly into Yorkshire & the Humber through Local Transport Fund to improve local transport connections.

The funding will not start until April 2025, and will be over 7-years.

It represents an investment of approximately £62 per head of population for each year.

In 2021, London received  approximately £1,475 per person, while elsewhere in England it was approximately £746.

That means that this budget still leaves York and North Yorkshire a long way behind London.

The Government has made a commitment in a White Paper on Levelling-up of “By 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing.”

Currently there is no visible strategy to meet that commitment.


Region Upper Tier LA Allocation
Yorkshire and the Humber York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority £379,670,000
East Riding of Yorkshire £168,269,000
Kingston upon Hull, City of £161,146,000
North Lincolnshire £118,189,000
North East Lincolnshire £119,726,000


Government say that the new investment will deliver an unprecedented long term funding uplift across the region over seven years, and that  it’s the first fully devolved transport budget of its kind targeted at smaller cities, towns and rural areas, which empowers local communities and local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matter most to their communities.

For York and North Yorkshire, the budget will come under the newly formed Combined Authority, and the Mayor, to be appointed in May 2024.


Kevin Foster, Green Party mayoral candidate said:

This is great news for our region and will lead to long-needed improvements to our transport infrastructure after years of neglect and underfunding.

We won’t see this money until April 2025, giving us plenty of time to plan precisely how best to use this significant investment in the fairest and most wide-reaching way possible. A detailed plan will be needed to establish priorities, short and long-term, so that we can work towards what will be of most benefit to our region, in both urban and rural areas.

I just really hope there won’t be a U-turn on this as there was with HS2.


Keith Tordoff MBE, independent mayoral candidate said:

This is good news for the region, but it needs to be put into perspective of £50m per year, over 7-years.

If there is real intent to level-up then the government needs to work  York and North Yorkshire in a way that is similar in how Transport for London works with the Government.

The Government’s Levelling up White Paper makes a number of commitment, particularly “By 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing.”

In London spend per head is around £1,470 per year, where as elsewhere, in England it is half that.

In December 2023, Transport for London were awarded £250million for their Transport Improvement Plan.

If we look at the numbers, London has a population of around 9million and North Yorkshire around of around 824,000 (in 2019)

So the budget allocation is welcome, but what is needed though is an integrated transport plan for the county, a plan that we need to go to the Government for budget. So this budget is welcomed, but it doesn’t come close to levelling-up.

Government’s commitment to that plan would then demonstrate a much greater level of commitment to levelling-up

This is just a starting point, and as an independent I would negotiate much further with Government to secure a better deal.



Keane Duncan, Conservative mayoral candidate said:

This funding is unprecedented in scale. It’s a landmark settlement, the very first for a rural region.

It gives us the guaranteed, long-term funding we need to transform our transport network. Millions extra for road repairs, new infrastructure and expanded public transport.

With the fairer funding we deserve, we can connect our communities, boost our economy and change the future of York & North Yorkshire.


Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, Libdem mayoral candidate, said:

This proposed injection of reallocated HS2 funding, to invest in transport in small cities and rural areas across the North, is welcome. There have, however, been many transport investment promises made over the years that have not come to fruition, so I really hope this is meaningful and actually more than a pre-election gambit.

With the £380M allocated to the Combined Authority over 7 years (’25-’32), this will not stretch very far. I am pleased that the focus is on reducing congestion, but at the same time disappointed that there is no strategy running alongside it to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads – by investing more in public transport. Whilst it is good to see the investment going towards making it safer to walk to school, it is a shame this is also not being directed at making walking and cycling routes safer generally – to enable those that want to use their cars less to do so.

I am please that funding can be allocated to urban public transport in York (the “mass transit systems”) and I would ensure that this is spent where it is needed, and many will benefit from train and bus station refurbishments. However, for residents in rural North Yorkshire – many of whom have very limited if any public transport at all – what is proposed is of no benefit. The policy lacks ambition and does not reflect the complexities of the region.

Where we have a very congested but vital link road in the region – such as the A64 – this is where I would use this funding to help drive further investment into a much more ambitious project than what is currently proposed (an upgrade of a small section). The benefits, in terms of reducing congestion and emissions and also the positive economic impact for the Coast, would be significant.



Prime Minister Rishi 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 £1 billion 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 funding will be made available from 2025 to give local authorities enough time to develop their funding plans and prepare to hit the ground running to start delivering them as early as possible.

This investment will give local authorities long term certainty to invest in transformative and ambitious transport improvements from 2025 through to 2032 including:

  • 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 charge points
  • Refurbishing bus and rail stations
  • Improving our streets so they are safer to walk children to school and increasing accessibility for all.
  • Councils will work with local MPs and will be held to account by the government as well as their communities to make sure the money is spent promptly and effectively. Local councils will be expected to publish their delivery plans for which projects they wish to invest in.

To ensure local authorities can make the most of this unprecedented funding, the Department will publish advice for local councils and transport authorities to help them develop ambitious plans to improve local transport infrastructure in their areas.

The new funding comes as devolution deals now cover nearly 34 million, or 60% of the English population, including the recent deals for York and North Yorkshire, Hull and East Yorkshire, and Greater Lincolnshire – up from 41% since the major levelling up plan two years ago, as the Government delivers on its plan to level up the country putting power back into the hands of local communities.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

Today’s £947 million 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.


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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