BORIS Johnson has unveiled ambitious plans to plough £4.2billion into overhauling train, tram and bus services across England.
He pledged the extra cash for councils to “kick-start the transformation” of public transport in major towns and cities.
The Tories will create a new Local Public Transport Fund, drawing from a £100 billion pot for large infrastructure projects included in the party manifesto.
The money will go to eight areas — West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, the North East, the Tees Valley, the West Midlands, Sheffield, Liverpool and Bristol.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “These plans will change the face of local transport across the country.
“They will kick-start the transformation of services so they match those in London, ensuring more frequent and better services, more electrification, modern buses and trains and contactless smart ticketing.
“While Labour has confirmed it will raid the budget to build roads, the Conservatives believe in raising funding, improving quality and delivering value.”
Councils will be given new powers over the running of existing local rail services covering fares, service patterns, rolling stock and stations.
They will similarly be encouraged to revamp bus services by creating franchise schemes like those in London.
These allow local authorities rather than bus firms to decide which services are run and how much passengers are charged.
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Councils will be able to bid for the cash from next year. They must agree to raise further sums locally through commercial development.
Labour has vowed to renationalise train and bus services as part of a package of public ownership takeovers that would cost an initial £196 billion.
Jeremy Corbyn has also pledged to reduce the cost of rail tickets by a third by taking £1.5 billion a year from car tax income used to maintain roads.