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Combined Authority Chair responds to MPs' recommendations

Cllr Peter Box, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair Responding to a report by the Commons Transport Committee which highlights the underfunding of transport projects outside London and calls on Minister to ensure there is a fairer allocation of funding and review new funding arrangements, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair, Cllr Peter Box today said,

“West Yorkshire has suffered from a legacy of underspending on Transport by successive Governments and I welcome the Transport Committee’s call on Ministers to use the Local Growth Fund to ensure that there is a fairer allocation of funding outside London.

“Recognising the importance of transport in underpinning business investment and unlocking housing development, West Yorkshire and York’s councils are working closely with the LEP and the private sector, as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to bring forward a range of schemes designed to deliver 20,000 real jobs and £2.4bn GVA.

“We need ministers and governments to meet their commitments on the devolution of transport funding and to heed the recommendations of the Transport Committee today so we can get these projects underway and enable West Yorkshire, the Leeds City Region and York to meet their full potential as economic drivers for the north and the country as a whole.”

The Committee’s report, which look at new arrangements for local decisions on transport spending from 2015, says Ministers must use the new funding arrangements for local projects to ‘ensure that there is a fairer allocation of funding’.

‘No area across our nation should be second class in relation to the allocation of transport infrastructure funds,’ the Report says.

Read the Transport Committee's report (new window).

At last week’s meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, there was cross-party agreement that a meeting should be sought with Chancellor George Osborne to find a way to break through the current stalemate over the planned £1.6bn West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.

Cllr Box said, “George Osborne was committed to proposals for devolving transport spending in line with our proposals and there is no reason to believe that he is no longer committed so we need a meeting with him as soon as possible.”

At the same meeting, Roger Marsh, Combined Authority member and Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) described the Transport Fund is one of the key pillars of the City Region’s transformational Strategic Economic Plan.

Read more about the Combined Authority's calls for a meeting with Chancellor, George Osborne.

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