A FURTHER £150 million has been awarded by the Government for transport improvements across the region over the next five years.

The cash will be invested, through a West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport fund, in a wide range of measures.

There will be improvements to public transport and cycle and walking routes, as well as more schemes to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

Over £180m has already been ploughed into projects in the past five years through the combined authority’s West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.

Initiatives to benefit include the widening of Hard Ings Road in Keighley, which is currently under way.

Combined authority bosses say the latest funding award, secured in liaison with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, comes after a Government review of how the last cash allocation had been invested – including the decision-making processes, delivery of schemes and value for money.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, combined authority chairman and leader of Bradford Council, said: “We welcome this strong endorsement, which shows that the combined authority is investing public money wisely.

“By delivering schemes like new railway stations, park-and-ride facilities and improved cycle paths, we are making a real difference to people’s quality of life.

“We have made excellent progress over the past five years, thanks to the investment we have been able to make into our communities through the Growth Deal – and we will be building on this as we deliver the West Yorkshire devolution deal.

“Given the times we are living through, such investment is needed more than ever.”

The new funding is in addition to a £317m Transforming Cities Fund package council leaders secured for transport investment through the devolution deal, agreed with the Government in March.

Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “The role the partnership played in unlocking this latest significant funding shows what great things we can do when we work together – and partnership working will be absolutely vital in our response to Covid-19. As we phase out of lockdown, our support must include robust plans to kickstart our region’s economic recovery and help businesses bounce back as quickly as we can, while remaining safe and secure.”