The city of Stoke-on-Trent is to receive £29 million from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, to revolutionise the city’s transport network.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced plans for the funding, which include a dramatic brand-new transport hub around Stoke-on-Trent train station that will offer local commuters and visitors to the city better access to taxis, buses and cycling, while also improving walking routes to and from the station.
Longton train station will also benefit from the funding package, with the installation of lifts, facilities to support cyclists and new passenger-waiting shelters. The improvements will improve accessibility to the station, encouraging more people to make use of its links into the city.
Part of the grant will also be used to upgrade the city-centre bus station, while priority routes will be established across the city for the first time as part of plans to cut congestion and bus journey times on the city’s roads.
Announcing the funding package, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The Transforming Cities Fund allows cities across the UK to better connect their communities and open up access to jobs, housing and services, and this multi-million-pound investment will make it quicker and easier to get around Stoke-on-Trent, providing a real improvement to the everyday lives of residents.
“This government is committed to levelling up transport infrastructure around the country. Today’s funding announcement demonstrates this commitment, boosting the local economy whilst helping Stoke-on-Trent build back better from COVID-19.”
In a bid to cut emissions and improve air quality in the region, a portion of the fund is going towards ‘active travel’ schemes. High-quality walking and cycling routes will be implemented towards Etruria Valley and Trentham Lakes, and a new cycling and pedestrian link will be installed at Vernon Road – offering residents access to higher-quality green travel options.
The Transforming Cities Fund was set up to build on transport links within city regions, promoting local growth and placing cities at the heart of the government’s industrial strategy.