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Mayor warns Transport for the North cuts ‘serious blow’

Sheffield city region mayor Dan Jarvis has warned proposed budget cuts to Transport for the North would be a ‘serious blow’ to the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Documents published earlier this week by Transport for the North show the Department for Transport is proposing cutting its core funding allocation from £10m a year to £6m for the financial year 2021/22.

‘The government’s decision to cut the internal budget for Transport for the North (TfN) by a massive 40% is another serious blow to the credibility of their levelling up agenda,’ said Mr Jarvis.

“The government also ended TfN’s role in Integrated and Smart Ticketing, a key part of the scandalously overdue effort to drag our regional railways into the 21st century. We’re relieved the government has continued funding to develop Northern Powerhouse Rail, but this move puts in doubt whether a critical part of the modernisation we need will be delivered according to Northern priorities – or at all,’ he added.

‘Transport for the North itself has been a distinctive voice for a region whose transport infrastructure is in desperate need of comprehensive overhaul to remedy decades of under-investment. That under-investment has held back the development of some of the most deprived areas of the country, and is deeply unfair to people across the North,’ said Mr Jarvis.

‘TfN has played an essential role as a strategic coordinating body and a champion to make sure this crisis is addressed with the urgency which it deserves. It is an example of devolution which makes sense not just for the North but the whole country.’

In November, Mr Jarvis called on the government to extend the Local Growth Fund, which is due to expire this year.

He said the fund has ‘helped change the face of our region’ and unlocked £500m private sector investment in South Yorkshire’s economy.

Photo Credit – Sheffield City Region Combined Authority

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