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Local Pinch Point Fund

Volume 565: debated on Thursday 27 June 2013

From the local pinch point fund, I have announced 72 schemes across the country that will benefit from £190 million of Government funding. Together with third-party contributions, including from the private sector, over £300 million will be invested as a result of that fund.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer, and for the welcome infrastructure investment, particularly in commuter routes. Despite the fact that in Bradford people are either travelling up a hill or are just about to do so, cycling is very popular. Every day tens of thousands of people travel from Bradford to Leeds and from Leeds to Bradford. Can the Secretary of State give me any information about the “highway to hell”, the proposed scheme for the cycling superhighway between Leeds and Bradford?

I am always keen to look at schemes that help cyclists, including by increasing their safety. A number of schemes are currently before the Department, and I hear what my hon. Friend says in support of that bid, but I have to say there are bids from a number of colleagues for these schemes.

I thank my right hon. Friend for the approval given for the improvements under the fund to the A421 in my constituency. May I ask what his hopes are for the future scope of that fund, so we may, perhaps, bid for further schemes on the A421, including at the western edge of my seat leading into your constituency, Mr Speaker?

Well, Mr Speaker, I do not think I want to prejudge any future schemes that may or may not be developed. What I would like to point out is that we announced the local pinch point fund last year, and it has been incredibly successful. We had more bids than we had money available for it. Although I am mindful of that, I will see what else can be done. However, as a result of the Chancellor’s announcements yesterday and the statement shortly to be made by the Chief Secretary, there will be huge investment in our roads, which is much needed.