Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said Britain needs HS2 “more than ever” as he announced a £70M funding package to support local communities between London the West Midlands route.
The £70M package consists of three separate funds, with £40M being divided between the HS2 Community and Environment Fund and the Business and Local Economy Fund and a £30M going to a road safety fund.
The HS2 Community and Environment Fund will use the money to enhance community facilities, improve access to the countryside and conserve the natural environment along the HS2 Phase One line of route.
The Business and Local Economy Fund will support local economies in those areas where businesses may suffer disruption from the construction of HS2 project.
The £40M will be distributed at a regional level with £15 million going to the Central area (Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire); £7.5M for Greater London and £7.5M for the West Midlands (Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry).
£10M will be left unallocated to give more flexibility to fund cross-border or route wide projects.
The £30M road safety fund will be used to make improvements in places along the line of route such as traffic calming measures, safer junctions or safer pedestrian crossings.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the country is facing a “crunch-point” as the number of rail users has doubled in the last 20 years.
He said: “We need HS2 for the capacity it will bring on the routes between London, the West Midlands, Crewe, Leeds and Manchester as well as the space it’ll create elsewhere on our transport network.
“We need it for the boost it will give to our regional and national economies.
“And we need it for the jobs it will create, and for the way it will link our country together.”
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