Business leaders have lauded the further £24m investment to improve the West's local transport system, which is a key element in boosting the economy of the West of England.
Speaking on behalf of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, the group that provides a platform for business and local councils to work together, Robert Sinclair, the chief executive of Bristol Airport, said: “This investment is part of a much wider transport infrastructure programme which could see well over a billion pounds coming to the area making a substantial improvement in all modes of transport, including roads, buses, rail, cycling and walking."
This investment is a boost for the West on top of a £79m investment in the Greater Bristol Bus Network and the green light for five major transport schemes with a combined value of £244m, not to mention the £700m electrification of the Great Western mainline over the next three to four years.
Mr Sinclair said: “The Local Enterprise Partnership has identified improving our transport infrastructure as a key priority which is shared by both
business and the local authorities. It has been well established that there is a clear link between excellent transport connectivity and
economic growth and job creation. We are delighted with the latest announcement which illustrates the confidence that central Government has in the West of England and our ability to deliver economic growth.
“Our next focus will be to work with the local councils to secure funding for the Greater Bristol Metro rail scheme, and we hope a positive announcement on this will be forthcoming very shortly. The entire Local Enterprise Partnership is backing the £100m scheme which will be another very important milestone in transport improvements. In total, we could see well over a billion pounds in transport improvements coming our way over the next five-to-10 years.”