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BID’s bid for Boris’s billions

Fiona McArthur from Bournemouth Coastal BID

Bournemouth Coastal BID will be urging MPs and councils to target some of the £5bn for bus and cycle infrastructure that was recently promised by the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson announced the funding for English regions that will be spent over the next five years – although details are as yet unclear.

Fiona McArthur, who manages the BID, said its seven ‘villages’ from Tuckton to Westbourne were in real need of transport investment.

The BID – which stands for Business Improvement District – is funded by levy-payers and seeks to improve their area.

Traders and businesses in the BID’s ‘villages’ suffer from congestion that could be eased by a better integrated transport network.

Fiona said: “Being on the coast means there are only ever 180 degrees of ways in and out and this leads to more congestion.

“With tourism adding tens of thousands of visitors through the summer, the congestion obviously gets worse.

“Targeted spending in our area on bus and cycle infrastructure could see a real boost for businesses and residents.

“Our seven villages – Tuckton, Pokesdown, Southbourne, Boscombe, East Cliff & West Cliff, Seafront and Westbourne – stretch along the coast and would benefit massively from bus and cycle networks linking them more effectively.

“And that’s why we want our councils and representatives to fight for a share of the £5bn, which I’m sure they will.

“Many see a distinction between north and south, but the real distinction is between London and everywhere else.

“While there is currently an understandable focus on the north, the south has its own difficulties outside the capital.

“Although we don’t know exactly how the £5bn is to spent, a small chunk of it used along our villages could make a huge difference.”

David Squire, managing director of Yellow Buses, agrees with the BID.

He said: “We welcome any new funding particularly when used to promote bus services.

“It becomes even more important when set against the backdrop of a climate emergency and increasing congestion.”

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