The funding pledge for trains, buses and trams comes just a couple of weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson experienced Bristol’s transport woes first hand when he got stuck in traffic for over an hour during a visit to the city.
At the time he told Bristol Live that the Conservative Party had a plan for transport and infrastructure investment and that he would look into funding a proposed mass transit system for the West of England.
Now the Tories have promised £4.2 billion would be allocated to a new Local Public Transport Fund for eight mayoral or combined authority areas, including the West of England.
West of England mayor Tim Bowles and the local authority leaders who sit on the authority will have the final say over how to spend it, but it is expected to help fund the MetroWest project.
It is unclear what portion of the £4.2bn the West of England would get, and that the share of funding between the eight authorities will vary depending on need, capacity and ambition.
It will also come with obligations for each area to raise further sums locally, perhaps by means such as commercial development at stations.
The announcement comes a day after Chancellor Sajid Javid visited Avonmouth in Bristol.
He said: “This new fund will kickstart the transformation of local services so they match those in London, ensuring more frequent and better services, more electrification, modern buses and trains and smart ticketing.”
General Election 2019
West of England Mayor and Conservative Tim Bowles said the new fund would help Weca to “further invest in local transport priorities”.
The announcement comes the same week Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised his party would cut rail fares by 33 per cent.
The proposal is part of broader plans by the party to bring the railways back into public ownership.
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