In September 2012, following a period of consultation, the Department for Transport set out firm proposals for the devolution of funding for local major transport schemes from 2015.
Since then we have, as promised, provided detailed guidance for local transport bodies (LTBs) on the setting up of local assurance frameworks, including a set of minimum requirements to be met before funding is devolved.
We also invited local stakeholders to agree locally the preferred geographical basis for LTBs so that we could then provide each with an indicative population based funding level, which would inform the development of their scheme programmes.
I am today publishing those indicative funding figures and they are listed in a document being provided to the House libraries, as well as being published on the Department for Transport’s website.
The actual allocations will be determined following further spending rounds within government. Accordingly, I am advising all LTBs to make contingency provision in their programmes for actual budget levels to be one third higher or lower than the indicative figures being published today.
LTB boundaries were mostly agreed by consensus between the local partners. However, there were three areas where local partners could not reach such an agreement. For those areas we have calculated the indicative figures on the basis of an appropriate share of the overlapping areas. The basis for this is set out in the additional document.
In all areas we will need to be responsive to evolving agendas, particularly in relation to the government’s response to the ‘Heseltine review’, the emergence of City Deals and the move in some areas towards combined authorities. These developments may, in time, inform the refinement of LTB geographies. However the planning for new schemes and programmes cannot be delayed if we are to maintain the momentum of new infrastructure that is so vital to the economy.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that, in recognition of the key role we envisage for LEPs in transport, the Department for Transport will be providing them with funding totalling £5 million in this financial year. This is in addition to the funds for capacity building in LEPs already announced in the Chancellor’s 2012 Autumn Statement. LEPs will have discretion on the use of this funding but we hope that it will improve their capacity to play a leading role in transport, including participation in LTBs.