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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tony McNulty): I am announcing today firm allocations for the 116 local highway authorities and six Passenger Transport Authorities in England, outside London, for capital expenditure in 2004/05. This settlement amounts to a £1.86 billion package of funding for local transport, and approval for twenty new major local transport schemes. It will maintain and increase the momentum of our local transport investment programme, building on the £1.6 billion we announced for each of the two previous years.
In December 2000 we provided five-year indicative allocations to enable authorities to implement smaller integrated transport and highway maintenance schemes under their local transport plans (LTPs). My announcement today honours those commitments for 200405 and also provides additional funds to the authorities that are delivering most effectively against national and local targets, and that have shown the most impressive year-on-year improvement. Only in the case of four authorities whose performance is relatively weak are we providing allocations less than the indicative figures. We are therefore providing the stable funding that is necessary to enable local authorities to deliver effective investment in local public transport and local roads. Authorities undertaking approved major schemes are also being given allocations to cover their spending on these schemes in 200405.
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The twenty new major local transport schemes we are provisionally or fully approving come on top of the 113 other major schemes accepted since the start of our 10-Year Plan in 2000. I am particularly pleased to announce that several of these new schemes will allow authorities to transform the quality of bus services.
A509 Isham Bypass, also in Northamptonshire;
Liverpool South Parkway integrated bus/rail interchange;
"Yorcard" smart card scheme across South and West Yorkshire;
Yellow buses for schoolchildren in West Yorkshire;
Luton Town Centre Improvements
Cambridge to Huntingdon Rapid Transit guided bus network;
Translink guided bus in Luton and Bedfordshire;
Upperton Road Viaduct major maintenance scheme in Leicester;
A1056 Northern Gateway Stage 2 in North Tyneside;
Freckleton Street Bridge in Blackburn;
JETTS Quality Bus Corridors in Greater Manchester;
Undercliffe Drive restoration on the Isle of Wight;
Central Milton Keynes Public Transport Improvements
Weymouth Relief Road in Dorset;
Tunstall Northern Bypass in Stoke-on-Trent;
Coleshill Multi-modal Interchange in Warwickshire;
Darlaston SDA Access Project in the West Midlands conurbation;
Brierley Hill Access Network also in the West Midlands;
Coventry Quality Bus Network