More of the decisions on the major transport schemes that have a significant impact on people’s daily lives will be taken at a local level, Transport Minister Norman Baker has confirmed today (18 September 2012).
A public consultation on the devolution of decision-making on major local schemes showed broad support for the proposals and the Department for Transport will now be going ahead with the plans outlined in the consultation.
Local major transport schemes have traditionally been individually approved and funded by government under a centralised bidding process. In the future funding will be allocated locally according to population, allowing priorities to be decided by newly established local transport bodies which will be made up of local transport authorities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and others with a key interest.
Norman Baker said:
We want decisions on new transport infrastructure to be made more efficiently, and at a more local level than has previously been the case.
While it is right for the government to look at the big picture and co-ordinate schemes with a national impact, there is no substitute for local knowledge. That is why we want to make sure that important decisions affecting the future of towns and cities across England are made by those who best understand the specific issues facing their communities.
Decisions on the use of the devolved funding will be made by local transport bodies which will be expected to demonstrate to local stakeholders and central government that the schemes they will carry forward provide good value for money. Detailed guidance on how to provide this assurance will be published by the Department for Transport in due course.
Note to editors
The government’s response to the consultation can be found on the department’s website.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), together with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), has this week announced £25 million core funding for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) until the end of this Parliament, subject to match funding. This will enable LEPs to engage in longer term planning to deliver growth and jobs in their areas. More information can be found on the BIS website.
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