The Government are investing £1.2 billion of new funding to deliver better bus services in England, including across the north-east.
Despite having lower average earnings, my constituents pay much more for their bus journey than Londoners. Yet the Secretary of State refuses to confirm funding for our bus service improvement plan or to confirm funding for the Metro throughout the covid crisis, which means there is less money for our buses, which he also will not support during the covid crisis. We have had our application to reopen the Leamside line refused. We have had the HS2 eastern leg abandoned, which means there is no hope of getting high-speed trains in Newcastle. We have had the manifesto promises on the Northern Rail Powerhouse refused and they will not even help to paint the Tyne bridge for its 100th birthday. Why are the Government such a scrooge for north-east transport?
I know it is the season of good will, but do not take advantage by doing a whole road map of the north-east. Minister, pick something from that please.
We are working with Transport North East as it develops its business case under the zero emission bus regional area scheme to introduce 73 electric buses and the necessary charging infrastructure. It will submit its final business case at the end of January.