TRANSPORT projects in Teesside and Darlington are set to receive £310million over the next five years.

It is part of nearly £7billion being given by the Treasury to areas with metro mayors to give them the power – and responsibility – to improve key links.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen welcomed the funding, which he said meant the region was getting its "fair share".

But last night, there were accusations that Government transport spending per head was still "disproportionally centred on London and the south east of England".

It will help finance improvements to travel by rail, road, bus and cycling and includes cash for Darlington, Eaglescliffe, Hartlepool, South Bank and Redcar stations.

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Mr Houchen said: "If the government is serious about levelling up, it needs to prove it doesn’t just want to improve the roads and tube links of London, we need to see real investment in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – and this is another example of them doing exactly that.

“Every part of our transport network in the region will be touched, with our critical practical schemes such as major station renovation and road improvements sitting alongside funding for more innovative projects like low-emission vehicles and smart traffic lights.

"“I have been in discussions with ministers for months to make sure we get our fair share of government cash. There’s a lot more in the pipeline and we’ll continue to work with Government to access all of the funding available to make our ambitious plans a reality.”

Funds will also go towards A66 maintenance, other highway schemes, bus priority road improvements, bus shelters, cycleways and zero-emission vehicles.

The funding was revealed ahead of the Government Spending Review on Wednesday.

Stockton South MP Matt Vickers said: "The good news just keeps rolling in. This whopping and welcome sum that's coming directly to the Tees Valley will be spent on levelling up infrastructure and transport. Locally, this means even more cash for the Eaglescliffe station rebuild, improvements to our road network and a considerable investment in cycleways.

"This Government is investing in Teesside like no other. From transport to our high streets, it's fantastic to see every part of our region getting the upgrade it deserves."

Redcar MP Jacob Young added: “Once again Boris Johnson’s Government is backing Teesside and demonstrating it’s commitment to levelling up our area, with better opportunities and connections across the Tees Valley.

“Better transport means companies will invest here which means better jobs, that are easier to get to, for local people - and it’s great to see that both Redcar and TS6 will benefit from this cash.

“We have a mission, for the transformation of Teesside working together as a Conservative team to deliver it. Our region is on the up.”

The Treasury has confirmed Greater Manchester will be given £1.07 billion, while there will be £830 million given to West Yorkshire, £570 million in South Yorkshire, £1.05 billion in the West Midlands, £540 million in the West of England and £710 million for the Liverpool City Region.

The announcement is being touted as a vote of confidence in the devolution agenda as all those awarded cash are areas with metro mayors.

Some £5.7 billion will be transport settlements for the regions, while £1.2 billion of new funding will go towards transforming bus services to deliver London-style journey times, fares and services.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Great cities need great transport and that is why we’re investing billions to improve connections in our city regions as we level up opportunities across the country.

“There is no reason why somebody working in the North and Midlands should have to wait several times longer for their bus or train to arrive in the morning compared to a commuter in the capital.

“This transport revolution will help redress that imbalance as we modernise our local transport networks so they are fit for our great cities and those people who live and work in them.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re absolutely committed to building back better and boosting regional economies right across the country, and these investments are a clear example of how we’re doing that.

 “Modernising our transport network sits at the heart of our levelling up agenda. This funding will serve as a catalyst for the regeneration of towns and cities by improving infrastructure and ensuring more people have better access to jobs and education.”

The Devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive additional funding through the Barnet formula because of this investment for England - this will be outlined in full at the Spending Review."

Jim McMahon, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said: “All we get from this government is isolated announcements and no coherent plan. While we’re still waiting for the promised 4,000 zero emission buses, cuts to bus services and rising ticket costs are pushing more people into using more polluting forms of transport.

“If ministers were serious about ensuring towns and cities of the north are better connected, they'd be delivering to HS2 to Leeds and northern powerhouse rail. Both these projects are critical to addressing the climate crisis and transforming the economies of the north and midlands, if ministers go back on their word, communities will feel rightly betrayed.”

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