TRANSPORT Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed details of a £59m transport fund being devolved to the Tees Valley region.

The cash was announced in last year’s Budget and will be delivered over the next four years.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said he would soon be setting out the priorities for how the cash would be spent.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority, which Mr Houchen heads up, has been working alongside bus and rail operators in the area since November last year.

Meanwhile, plans by the authority to build a new River Tees crossing to ease congestion on the A19, a Darlington bypass linking the A66 to the A1(M) and extra lanes added to sections of the A66 are also in the pipeline

Mr Houchen said: “Other towns and cities are being told to bid for cash, but because we have a Metro Mayor, the Tees Valley will be getting a guaranteed pay-out for a much-needed overhaul to our public transport infrastructure.

“The situation for Tees Valley commuters is in no way ideal and this funding will help us drive real change.

“I want everyone travelling in and around the area to see considerable improvements.”

Councillor Bill Dixon, cabinet member for transport at the combined authority, said: “We can use this new investment to deliver our ambitious plans for much-needed upgrades to our local public transport system.

“We’ve been developing plans for some time but now we can start delivering them. This is about improving the daily journeys taken across the Tees Valley and we will be working closely with communities to ensure we make the maximum impact for our residents and businesses.”