Government to reallocate £947m of HS2 money to region’s public transport

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper have confirmed that Yorkshire and the Humber will receive a £947 million funding boost from April 2025

The investment – announced as part of the £36bn Network North scheme – will deliver a funding uplift across the region over seven years.

The announcement brought a swift response from West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin, who described the annoucement as ‘Transport Goundhog Day’ on X (formerly Twitter),. adding, ” Announcement after announcement over decades and still no spades in the ground for the north. Hands up who can see this for what it is – ‘jam tomorrow’ electioneering?”

West and South Yorkshire will not benefit from the funding. South and West Yorkshire Combined Authorities already get £1.4 billion of City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements from 2022-2027. The government said they have also been allocated more than £3.5 billion in the second round of funding from 2027-2032 to improve transport across Yorkshire and the Humber in the long term, funded in part from reallocated HS2 funding.

Funds will be delivered through the Local Transport Fund, and will be on average at least nine times more than local authorities currently receive through the local integrated transport block, which is the current mechanism for funding local transport improvements in their areas.

At today’s cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to call on ministers and MPs ensure the funding is used appropriately and that the voices of local communities are heard when decisions are made on where this funding goes and how this funding is spent.

Rishi Sunak said: “We have a clear plan to level up our country with greater transport links that people need and deliver the right long-term change for a brighter future.

“Through reallocating HS2 funding, we’re not only investing nearly £1 billion directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across Yorkshire and the Humber, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matters most to them – this is levelling up in action.

“The Local Transport Fund will deliver a new era of transport connectivity. This unprecedented investment will benefit more people, in more places, more quickly than HS2 ever would have done, and comes alongside the billions of pounds of funding we’ve already invested into our roads, buses and local transport services across the country.”

The funding will be made available from 2025 to give local authorities enough time to develop their funding plans and prepare to hit the ground running to start delivering them as early as possible.

Councils will work with local MPs and will be held to account by the government as well as their communities to make sure the money is spent promptly and effectively. Local councils will be expected to publish their delivery plans for which projects they wish to invest in.

To ensure local authorities can make the most of this unprecedented funding, the Department will publish advice for local councils and transport authorities to help them develop plans to improve local transport infrastructure in their areas.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Today’s £947 million investment is truly game-changing for the smaller cities, towns, and rural communities across Yorkshire and the Humber, and is only possible because this Government has a plan to improve local transport and is willing to take tough decisions like reallocating funding from the second phase of HS2.

“This new funding boost will make a real difference to millions of people living across Yorkshire and the Humber, empowering local authorities to drive economic growth, transform communities, and improve the daily transport connections that people rely on for years to come.”

The Local Transport Fund is directed to the North and Midlands because the majority of HS2 savings are from those regions. The new fund is also specifically for communities in the North and Midlands outside City Regions – who already receive City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) – allowing them to deliver similar transport infrastructure upgrades in their local communities.

The funding breakdown is:

  • York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority: £379.7m
  • East Riding of Yorkshire: £168.3m
  • Kingston upon Hull:  £161.1m
  • North Lincolnshire: £118.2m
  • North East Lincolnshire: £119.7m

The government said the investment demonstrated its commitment to reinvest all of the £19.8 billion from the Northern leg of HS2 in the North, and all of the £9.6 billion from the Midlands leg in the Midlands, while the £6.5 billion saved through the new approach at Euston will be spread across every other region in the country.

Lord Patrick McLoughlin, Chair of Transport for the North, said: “We welcome this funding for our local transport areas as a sign of progress towards transforming the north to a more inclusive, sustainable and better-connected region. By having greater clarity on the funding that’s available, and consolidating funding streams, it helps remove inertia and accelerates delivery on the ground.

“TfN look forward to working with government and local leaders, because we know that the travelling public will get better results the more locally the decisions are made on how those services should be provided.”