Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians beginning to return to streets across Yorkshire and the Humber are set to benefit from a £196m investment to make journeys quicker, smoother and safer, the Government has announced.
Hundreds-of-millions-of-pounds worth of upgrades have already been made to the nation’s road and rail networks during the lockdown period with more planned over the coming weeks and months.
The £1.7 billion Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund will help every area in England outside London to improve its roads, repair bridges and fill in millions of potholes – enough to build a road stretching a third of the way around the Earth.
The package will target around 1.3 million nuisance potholes across Yorkshire and the Humber alone. It will also see smaller improvements completed to upgrade local networks, such as enhancing road safety at key locations, the installation of priority bus lanes and the creation of projects to help lock in improvements in air quality experienced during lockdown.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “It is vital that we continue to stay at home and only travel when it is essential to do so, but as people slowly begin to return to our roads over the coming weeks and months, we want to ensure they are in the best shape possible.
“The funding we are allocating will help make journeys smoother, quicker and safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”
The £1.7 billion is being automatically allocated based on the length of local authorities’ roads, helping to reduce pressures on staff at this crucial time by removing the need to apply manually for funding.
The Government is also accelerating more than £175 million worth of work during the quieter period across the road and rail network while people follow guidance to avoid unnecessary travel.
Major improvement works have already taken place over the past month, with England’s motorways and major A-roads benefiting from £200 million of work carried out in April while some £550 million of improvements and maintenance have been completed on the rail network.
In addition, councils across Yorkshire and the Humber have taken advantage of the quiet periods on the roads to safely carry out key works – including Doncaster Council who brought forward key congestion projects and utility works to take advantage of the reduced traffic volumes.
While East Riding of Yorkshire Council has worked to ensure the vast majority of highway and civil engineering works could safely continue throughout the lockdown – including the £4m Shiptonthorpe Roundabout scheme to improve traffic flows along the major commercial route between Hull and York.
This comes after the Transport Secretary last week announced £2 billion in funding to boost more sustainable greener travel and encourage more people to begin cycling and walking.