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‘Ludicrous! Fury as funds meant for north of England to be used to fix potholes in London | UK | News UK News

Funding earmarked for northern England will be used to fix potholes in London, it has been revealed, leaving local leaders incensed.

Officials will use more than £200 million originally meant to build Network North to rejuvenate roads in the capital as part of wider plans to improve transport across the country.

Announcing the plans on Wednesday, December 20, the Department for Transport (DfT) said it would use a portion of £8.3 billion raised for the project – which was created from the ashes of HS2 – across the city.

London will receive £235 million to repair roads in each borough, which the DfT said would “ensure millions of road users enjoy smoother and safer journeys”.

The announcement has sparked outrage in northern England, where local leaders have slammed the Conservatives for “celebrating widening the widening north/south divide”.

The Prime Minister had declared war on the “scourge of potholes” when he announced Network North in November, with £36 billion being funnelled into Midlands and northern travel.

Among the benefits promised by the Prime Minister were roads being improved “right across the country”, and he touted “billions to fill potholes”.

Mr Sunak attracted ridicule when he said fixing potholes was among the “long-term decisions” the Government should take to “make life easier for hard-working families”.

Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs in the north have decried the move to funnel Network North funds into London boroughs, with backlash led by Tracy Brabin, the mayor of West Yorkshire.

Ms Brabin told The Guardian: “I know the north isn’t a priority for this government but seriously?”

Louise Haigh, the shadow transport secretary, dubbed the announcement “ludicrous”, and said Network North “actually means repairing roads in London”.

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the move was “pretty insulting”, and a reminder of what he said were ditched Conservative promises for northern England.

He added: “It would be a nice idea if it was a network, and it was in the North.”

A spokesman for the DfT said the Government had always intended that money saved from scrapping HS2 would be shared across the country.

A Conservative official said the “lion’s share” of the money from Network North would go towards northern England and the Midlands.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 12:01:00

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