Press release

Over £45 million savings give boost to transport improvements

Nine local transport schemes get the go-ahead today after £45.5 million of savings found.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Nine local transport schemes were given the go-ahead today (4 February 2011) after £45.5 million (14%) of savings were identified, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced.

The savings mean additional schemes across the country can now be brought forward for consideration.

A further 23 schemes have today been given the green light to bid for funding from a pot worth around £630 million. These schemes have provisionally identified overall savings of 42%.

Philip Hammond said:

The government is committed to delivering transport projects which improve journeys while also helping economic growth.

Following the spending review we challenged local authorities to look again at the cost of proposed schemes to ensure we get maximum value for every pound we spend. The councils being awarded funding today have met that challenge by achieving a saving to the taxpayer of £45.5 million on the original proposed costs.

That means more money is now available for other schemes across the country and I would urge other councils to follow this lead as they bid for funding. This will allow us to fund as many schemes as possible, delivering improvements to roads and public transport across the country.

The Department for Transport announced in October that it was seeking best and final offers from local authorities for 10 schemes which it was prepared in principle to support. Following this challenge the local authorities found overall cost savings of 14%. The schemes are worth over £365 million with an overall DfT contribution of £275 million. They are:

  • Leeds Station southern access: improving pedestrian access to Leeds station (£12.4 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £14.4 million)
  • Midland Metro extension: extending Midland Metro tram line through Birmingham City Centre (£75.4 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £129.2 million)
  • Mansfield public transport interchange: a new bus station and associated transport improvements in Mansfield (£7.2 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £8.9 million)
  • Thornton to Switch Island link: a new single carriageway road which will take traffic away from communities in Sefton (£14.5 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £18.6 million)
  • Ipswich fit for the 21st century: an integrated package of sustainable transport improvements in Ipswich (£18.3 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £21.5 million)
  • east of Exeter: improvements to M5 J29, east of Exeter, providing access to new housing and employment areas (£10.4 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £14.4 million)
  • Heysham to M6 link road: a bypass to the north of Lancaster, connecting Heysham to the M6 (£110.9 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £123.3 million)
  • A57 M1 to Todwick crossroads: improvements on the A57 east of M1 J31, near Todwick (£11.8 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £14.7 million)
  • Taunton northern inner distributor road: a new road in Taunton to provide additional cross town capacity and access to areas of brownfield land (£15.2 million DfT contribution towards a total cost of £21.7 million)

The department announced in October that all other local transport schemes for which it had received funding bids had been assigned to 1 of 2 ‘pools’.

Schemes in the development pool were told that they would be invited to bid for funding later in 2011. Schemes in the ‘pre-qualification pool’ have been subject to further assessment to determine which of them can enter the development pool.

This work has now been completed and the department today announced that 23 schemes will move into the development pool after the local authorities indicated an overall 42% saving can be found. Nine schemes from the pre-qualification group and 2 schemes which have been withdrawn by the promoter have not been moved to the development pool and are no longer being considered for funding in this spending review period.

The department hopes to fund the majority of the schemes now in the development pool subject to their business cases being of an acceptable standard. However, the total likely funding request to DfT is nearly £950 million, so the process remains competitive and local authorities will need to look for further savings to stand a good chance of funding.

Decisions on these schemes will be made by the end of 2011.

The schemes which have moved to the development pool are:

  • A43 Corby link road
  • Luton town centre transport scheme
  • Darlaston strategic development area access scheme (Walsall)
  • Camborne-Pool-Redruth transport package
  • A164 Humber Bridge to Beverley improvement
  • Northern road bridge (Portsmouth)
  • Kingskerswell by-pass (south Devon link road)
  • south Bristol link phases 1 and 2
  • Worcester integrated transport strategy
  • A452 Chester Road access improvements
  • Lincoln eastern bypass
  • South Yorkshire bus rapid transit (northern route)
  • Morpeth northern bypass
  • Tipner interchange (Portsmouth)
  • Coventry-Nuneaton rail upgrade
  • south Essex rapid transit
  • bus rapid transit north fringe to Hengrove (Bristol)
  • Croxley rail link (Hertfordshire)
  • Elmbridge transport (Gloucestershire)
  • A4184 Evesham (Abbey) bridge maintenance (Worcestershire)
  • A45 westbound bridge maintenance (Solihull)
  • London Road bridge maintenance (Derby)
  • Leeds inner ring road maintenance

The 9 pre-qualification pool schemes which will not be funded in this spending review period are:

  • A509 Isham bypass (Northamptonshire)
  • Watford junction interchange
  • Castleford town centre integrated transport scheme
  • A24 Ashington to Southwater improvement (West Sussex)
  • A61 Penistone Road smart route (Sheffield)
  • Stafford western access improvements
  • Tyne & Wear bus corridor improvement - phase 1
  • A338 Bournemouth Spur Road maintenance
  • A38(M) Tame viaduct maintenance (Birmingham)

The 2 schemes withdrawn by the promoter are;

  • Northern gateway (North Tyneside)
  • Sunderland central route

Notes to editors

The Written ministerial statement to Parliament by the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.

The confirmed schemes can now progress to seek statutory powers and formal tender prices, if they have not already done so. For the schemes in Exeter and Mansfield the necessary statutory approvals and tender prices are already in place so funding will be released to enable the schemes to start construction in 2011 to 2012.

The remaining scheme in the supported pool, the Mersey Gateway Bridge, has a complex financial case. The department is therefore continuing to carefully consider the funding proposal from Halton Borough Council. Final funding arrangements will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The following schemes remain in the development pool. They are still eligible to bid for a pot of around £630 million. The department will conduct some further analysis and invite best and final funding bids from the promoters by September 2011:

  • Waverley link road (Rotherham)
  • Beverley integrated transport plan
  • A684 Bedale-Aiskew-Leeming Bar bypass (N Yorks)
  • Norwich northern distributor road
  • bus rapid transit Ashton Vale to Temple Meads (Bristol)
  • Loughborough town centre transport scheme
  • Leeds rail growth package
  • Nottingham ring road
  • Access York park & ride
  • Weston-Super-Mare package
  • Bath transportation package
  • A6182 White Rose Way improvement scheme (Doncaster)
  • Rochdale interchange
  • Crewe Green Link southern section
  • Sunderland strategic corridor
  • A18-A180 link
  • Manchester Cross City Bus
  • Pennine Reach (east Lancs rapid transit)
  • Sheffield Supertram additional vehicles
  • Hucknall town centre improvement scheme (Nottinghamshire)
  • Leeds new generation transport
  • Bexhill to Hastings link road
  • Final decisions will be made by the end of 2011.

Of the schemes with conditional approval in October we undertook to make decisions as soon as possible on a case-by-case basis. The Reading Station highway works scheme was re-confirmed with conditional approval on 16 December 2010 with a DfT contribution of £9.6 million, reduced from £15 million. Walton Bridge was granted full approval on 29 December 2010 with a DfT contribution of £23.875 million, reduced from £29.844 million. The other scheme in this category, the Isles of Scilly Ferry Link, is still under consideration but we hope to make a decision on the way forward very soon.

The department cannot at this point consider any new local authority schemes other than those already allocated to a group.

An update to ‘Investment in local major transport schemes’ has now been published which sets out the details of the scheme approval decisions and explains the rationale on which they have been based. We will also shortly publish the best and final funding bids and expressions of interest that have been submitted by the local authority promoters.

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Published 4 February 2011