The UK’s next budget will include a $9.6 billion investment in transport outside London as part of plans to reduce economic inequality.
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will introduce the initiative in the next budget and spending review next Wednesday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “confrontational” program is seen as vital to maintaining support for the former Labor opposition strongholds that backed him in the 2019 election.
His Conservative Party won several seats in northern England with a promise to deliver Brexit and create jobs.
The money from the relocation project will go to former Labour’s “red wall” areas, which backed the Conservatives two years ago, and are seen as compensation for that support.
The Finance Ministry said in a statement that the government will invest in urban areas to increase productivity through improvements to trains and stations, as well as an expansion of the tram network.
It will also include resources to improve bus services.
The government is looking to speed up travel times, simplify payment and increase service outside London, in the face of complaints that areas outside the capital have poor services, affecting business.
“This transportation revolution will help achieve that balance by modernizing our local transportation networks to fit our cities and the people who live and work in them,” Sunak said in the statement.
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