Transport secretary reveals Norwich’s ‘strong start’ in getting share of £840m transport cash

Transport secretary Chris Grayling. Pic: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Transport secretary Chris Grayling. Pic: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has said Norwich has made a 'strong start' in outlining why it should get a share of the government's £840m Transforming Cities Fund.

Greater Norwich has been named as one of 10 cities which will go head to head for what would be a huge funding boost and transform how people get around.At the heart of Transport for Norwich's bid are three key bus routes, which would connect Norwich International Airport to Broadland Business Park, Wymondham to Sprowston and Easton to Rackheath.

Smart ticketing, cleaner vehicles, real-time information and faster journey times would all be made possible if the government stumps up the cash.

Now Greater Norwich is on the Department for Transport's Transforming Cities Fund shortlist, it will get £50,000 and support from government officers to develop the next stage of the bid.

And transport secretary Mr Gayling had this to say about the shortlisting of the Greater Norwich bid:

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'Our daily commute is the journey that impacts our existence like no other.

'It has the potential to make or break job prospects, shape family life and decide our children's school or place of study.

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'The government is committed to tackling congestion and improving public transport for commuters across the country - reducing delays getting to work, while boosting productivity.

'Last year we unveiled our £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund – a bold and ambitious measure aimed at filling the gaps in our major cities' transport systems.

'The fund will help areas introduce innovative schemes that will transform lives and job prospects by making it easier to get around and providing better links between the outskirts of cities and their centres.

'From introducing technology that helps buses cut through traffic jams, to delivering new infrastructure that makes it possible for people to cycle to work, we are targeting investment on the links that will make a real difference for us all.

'We invited cities across the country, but outside of London, to bid for a share of the money by sending their brightest and best ideas for improving public transport journeys in their areas.

'And the prime minister announced that plans submitted by Norwich have been shortlisted, along with those of nine other cities.

'It means Norwich will potentially receive a share of £840m from the fund to transform transport in the local area.

'The shortlisted cities must now work with the Department for Transport to develop a business plan – further outlining the case for their bids before funding is awarded.

'Each area will receive £50,000 to enable them to do this.

'I can also reveal that £60m of the fund will be allocated this financial year to cities where work on transport projects is ready to begin.

'We welcome the application for a share of the fund from Norwich.

'Its proposals include improving connections between train and bus stations, development sites and the city college.

'Other measures include the provision of mobility hubs that would provide real time information to commuters, along with wi-fi and mobile charging.

'Some hubs could also include secure cycle parking, car club vehicles and cycle hire.

'We will be working with Norwich, along with all shortlisted cities, to help them to seize this opportunity to potentially turn their ambitions into reality.

'For when cities like Norwich improve their transport systems – the benefits extend far outside of the local area.

'That's because our cities turbocharge this country's economic growth - creating jobs, growth, progress and prosperity for the nation as a whole.

'The Transforming Cities Fund will enable areas to benefit from the transport systems fit for the 21st Century – preparing them to attract the industries of the future.

'This is a major step towards delivering our industrial strategy – the government's long term plan to build a Britain ready for the coming decades.

'We've already allocated £840m of the Fund, empowering six Metro Mayors to tackle the everyday challenges and introduce ambitious projects in their area.

'The next step is to help other cities, including Norwich, to see the benefit of this investment.

'Norwich has already made a strong start in outlining its case.

'And I hope that over the next few months my department will be able to work with it to build on these plans – with the goal of improving the journeys and economic prospects of everyone.'

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