Transport schemes revived in bid to add impetus to economy

Justine Greening. PA
Justine Greening. PA
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THREE Yorkshire transport schemes left in limbo for 18 months have been given the go-ahead as Ministers seek to revive the economy.

The Government will give £20.7m to a relief road for Beverley and £19.4m to a bus route in South Yorkshire. Ministers have also pledged to contribute towards maintenance on Leeds inner ring road, although the final amount still has to be resolved.

But Ministers confirmed that a decision on the £250m scheme to bring trolleybuses to Leeds streets has been delayed by up to five months, infuriating politicians and transport bosses in the city. The Government said it wanted more detail to back up the business case for it.

And North Yorkshire County Council has been given a month to decide whether it wants to go ahead with a bypass for Bedale after the Government offered £35.9m for the scheme – £14m less than the authority had asked for. The authority said it would require “careful consideration”.

In total, the Government will pay nearly £600m towards the cost of 21 transport schemes across the country as it hopes the injection of cash into infrastructure projects will help create jobs and boost the economy. Chancellor George Osborne gave the go-ahead to 20 others – including new stations in Leeds – in the Autumn Statement last month.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “We are investing in schemes that will provide better access to jobs and services, reduce congestion and enable more goods to move more easily around our country.”

Rotherham MP Denis MacShane welcomed the bus route cash, saying: “These proposals have wide local support and should go some way towards reducing congestion in the short term and creating jobs in my constituency and the surrounding area in the long term.

“It is long overdue investments in growth and economic infrastructure like this that will help create jobs and take people out of unemployment.”