Cash for transport schemes slashed

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MILLIONS of pounds worth of cash earmarked for North East transport schemes, including a Sunderland low carbon zone, has been slashed by more than a third.

The £8million Sunderland project is one of 11 schemes by the seven North East local authorities – known as the LA7.

The programme had been expected to be allocated £58.1million, but now the Department of Transport has announced that this will be just £31.1million.

It is unclear how the reduced funding will impact the proposed improvements to three strategic junctions with the A19 in Sunderland.

The LA7 Leadership Board’s chairman, Mick Henry, said: “It is deeply disappointing that, on the day the Leadership Board has set out this strong and ambitious programme of investment, the Department for Transport should announce a cut in the amount of funding available.

“It undermines the principles of localism.

“Despite this, we’ve undertaken robust planning and preparation for each scheme, and we are in a strong position to press ahead and compete to secure funding from the Single Local Growth Fund to complete the programme.”