North East Devolution and Levelling Up

North East gets £163.5m for bus improvements

The North East has been awarded £163.5m by the government for its bus service improvement plan (BSIP) – a sum described by Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Transport North East as ‘great news for the region’.

‘This funding will allow us to dramatically transform bus services across the North East, greatly improving the bus network for millions of passengers and encouraging more people to make the switch to bus’, he said.

Mr Hughes added that the award of £7.3m of funding for the Metro, reported here yesterday, will allow services to be fully maintained over the next few months.

The region will receive £73,758,353 capital to prioritise buses on busy routes, and £89,762,819 revenue to support improved fares and services for local people, all spread over three years.

The exact sum emerged after this website reported yesterday that the North East was in line for a share of £7bn to support public transport outside London.

Mr Hughes said: ‘This announcement is great news for the region. The government has clearly recognised how important bus and Metro services are to the North East.’

He said it was one of the highest allocations in the country, though it amounts to only one-fifth of the £804m the region had requested for its BSIP. So councillors will have to decide which elements of the BSIP to adopt and which to ditch.

Meanwhile, the North East continues to miss out on around £600m for which it would be eligible under the separate City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) if it agreed to a regional devolution deal. The CRSTS is delivering more than £1bn each to the Greater Manchester and West Midlands mayoral combined authorities.