Because of the Prime Minister’s decision, Network North will see £19.8 billion of extra transport investment in the north of England, including a brand new £2.5 billion fund to transform local transport in 14 rural counties, smaller cities and towns in every part of the north outside the big city regions. This is in addition to what has already been committed through the integrated rail plan and the £11 billion TransPennine route upgrade.
I thank the Minister for visiting my constituency back in January. Following that visit, he became aware of the important economic impact of the A64 on York and North Yorkshire. May I stress to him again how important the upgrade is to safety on the road? A few days following his visit, the road was again closed due to a serious accident. Sadly, that followed another fatal accident on the road in December. This is becoming an ever more frequent occurrence, so when he looks at the upgrade of the A64, will he ensure that the safety impact plays an important role?
It was a pleasure to visit my hon. Friend’s constituency and meet him and other parliamentary colleagues who were so passionately concerned about the improvement of the A64 and its safety issues. I take the point he raises on board. I know that National Highways is developing options to address the concerns that he, local people and businesses have identified with the road. We will look at them very closely. I welcome the fact that he continues to champion this important matter.