People living and working across Cumbria will see better public transport, reduced congestion and upgraded bus and rail stations as part of billions of pounds of investment into towns, smaller cities, and rural areas across the North, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will announce.

On Monday the PM is expected to reveal how more than £2bn of reallocated HS2 funding will go to local authorities in the North, including in Cumbria, to spend on local transport improvements.

Local authorities will be able to choose which local transport improvements to invest in, including refurbishing bus stations, filling potholes and installing more electric vehicle charging points.

This will be part of more than £4bn due to be announced for local councils across the North and Midlands and will be available from 2025, giving local authorities time to draw up plans and be ready to go when the funding arrives.  

This money will go to local authorities covering rural communities, towns and smaller cities.

A senior Government source said: "This money will be a huge boost for so many people across Cumbria. It will be local people, rather than ministers in Whitehall, who will be able to decide what local transport improvements they spend this funding on.

"This Conservative Government’s plan to reallocate HS2 funding into local transport improvements will benefit more people in more places, more quickly.”

In October it was announced HS2 will be built between Birmingham and Euston - but no further north.

The Government said costs for HS2 had 'more than doubled since forecast' with phase one originally meant to cost £20 billion but latest estimates were up to £45 billion.

And the project was repeatedly delayed.

It was supposed to be operational by 2026 and opened in full by 2033 but, the Government said, now the the line to Manchester was not be ready to be opened until 2041.