Eight of England’s combined authorities look set to receive five-year transport funding settlements worth a collective £4.2bn under proposals announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Budget last week.
The eight combined authorities areas are: West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Liverpool City Region, Tyne and Wear, the West of England, Sheffield City Region and Tees Valley.
The settlements will be negotiated between each area and the Government, based on plans put forward by the combined authority mayors. Nevertheless, the Treasury said the Government “would welcome the opportunity to support a range of schemes, such as the renewal of the Sheffield Supertram, the development of a modern, low-carbon metro network for West Yorkshire, and tram-train pilots in Greater Manchester”.
The settlements are expected to run from 2022/23. The comprehensive spending review in July should include resource funding for the areas to develop their plans.
The Treasury said it would open discussions with just three of the eight areas, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region and the West Midlands in the coming months.
Capital funding for the other five areas is subject to them “putting in place appropriate governance to agree and deliver funding, including an elected mayor for their city regions and transport networks”.
West Yorkshire does not yet have a mayor but will hold a mayoral election next May (see below). The Sheffield City Region has a mayor and is currently finalising new governance arrangements to release the funds and powers in the Sheffield City Region devolution agreement. The Tyne and Wear conurbation has a complex administrative geography, being split between two combined authorities: the North of Tyne CA has a mayor but the North East CA does not.
The West of England CA has a mayor but the CA only covers three of the four unitary authorities in the Bristol area, North Somerset having refused to join.
The Tees Valley already has a mayor.
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