Advice for local councils wanting to apply for a share of a £170 million fund to remove bottlenecks on the local highway network and support growth-enhancing development was published today (3 January 2013) by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
This funding forms part of an additional £1.5 billion of government investment, announced in the Chancellor’s ‘Autumn statement’, to improve the road network and reduce congestion.
The Local Pinch Point Fund will tackle obstacles on the local transport network that restrict growth by limiting the movement of goods, employees and customers. The investment will build on the success of the Highways Agency’s Pinch Point Fund for the strategic road network, which received an extra £100 million in the ‘Autumn statement’.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
Tackling congestion and making the most of our infrastructure is essential for economic growth. We have already provided significant funding to local authorities to promote growth but more can be done.
That is why we are providing this additional £170 million to help councils free up key bottlenecks on the highway network. This funding will unlock development sites to help local businesses and communities.
This investment will fund improvements which have an immediate impact on growth with the aim that all schemes will be delivered as quickly as possible - funding will be available until March 2015. The schemes delivered as part of this programme will help create additional jobs and housing and could include:
- improving existing local roads to ease congestion bottlenecks, speed up journey times and improving reliability
- provision of new roads, junctions or roundabouts to improve access to business or housing development sites
- strengthening or repairing of bridges or retaining walls which would otherwise lead to traffic restrictions and cause delays for traffic
Notes to editors
The Chancellor’s ‘Autumn statement’ on the 5 December 2012 announced the allocation of £170 million for a Local Pinch Point Fund to help address congestion on the local road network in England, which are acting as an impediment to economic growth.
The fund is available to local highway and transport authorities in England - Transport for London will be able to bid for up to £10 million of the fund.
The Highways Agency Pinch Point Programme was announced on 8 October 2012 - investment from earlier rounds of the Highways Agency’s programme is removing bottlenecks and keeping traffic moving on England’s motorways and major A roads, with a potential to deliver more than 300,000 new jobs and 150,000 new homes.
The guidance for the application process for local authorities is available on the GOV.UK website.