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Budget announcement brings good news for South East transport

A series of long-awaited transport projects across the South East will go ahead, the coalition Government insisted today.

key_cbtrains.pngCatherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, welcomed a number of big wins for the region in the chancellor's Autumn budget statement.

Some key announcements include a pledge to electrify the First Great Western line, redevelop Gatwick airport and improve roads.

Catherine said: "Investing in better transport links will help provide jobs and protect the region's economy.

"We know money is tight, but it is vital we continue to focus on long-term and environmental issues and that means investing in infrastructure."

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the South East will also get nearly £95m as part of the Growing Places Fund in an effort to spark projects and encourage private sector investment.

Catherine added: "We're going to be quite up front with people about the difficult challenges we face.

"But this Government will continue to provide the country with the stability we need and, at the same time, deliver on Lib Dem commitments where we can.

"The coalition is bringing economic credibility thanks to its firm resolve to tackle the terrible legacy left by Labour."

Some of the transport schemes mentioned by the chancellor today included:

- Replacement of Northern Road Bridge in Portsmouth

- New M275 Tipner Interchange (Portsmouth)

- New rail link between Oxford and Bedford

- M3 in Surrey - managed motorway scheme

- New Lower Thames river crossing

- Gatwick Capital Investment Programme

- Reading Station upgrade programme - major resignalling work and new platforms

- Continue to implement £14.5bn Crossrail project, with services operational from 2018

- Electrification of First Great Western line through to Oxford, Newbury and Bristol

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