Fuel decision casts a shadow

By Julie Hayes, Business editor

York Press: Budget 2012 logo

Chancellor George Osborne promised a Budget that “unashamedly” backs business.

But York businesses have been unimpressed at much of it.

The decision not to delay an increase in fuel duty has cast a shadow on concessions that were made to improve life for businesses.

The Chancellor did announce £130 million investment in the Northern Hub rail scheme, which would mean electrification of routes from Manchester to other cities in the north.

The electrification of the TransPennine line from Manchester to York was already announced in his Autumn Statement. Network Rail said that if funding was also allocated in the rail budgets announced later this year, the project could create 20,000 to 30,000 jobs by stimulating the northern economy.

Other infrastructure announcements included plans to extend mobile phone coverage to 60,000 rural homes and at least ten key roads by 2015, including the A169, which runs between Malton, Pickering and Whitby.

The Local Enterprise Partnerships were also awarded more cash through the Growing Places Fund, with York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP getting £3 million and the Leeds City Region LEP, which covers 11 authorities including York, Selby and Harrogate, was awarded £11.7 million.

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