I am pleased to announce that the department is today awarding £155.5 million to support authorities in delivering local economic growth whilst cutting carbon emissions from transport.
The department has received 73 bids to Tranche 1 of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund from 66 lead authorities. All bids were for small projects requiring less than £5 million funding from DfT. Twelve bids were submitted as ‘key components’ to large projects.
Proposals were assessed against the criteria as published in the Guidance on the Application Process, which was published on 19 January. Successful proposals were those judged to perform well against the twin objectives of supporting the local economy and facilitating economic development, and of reducing carbon emissions.
If proposals met these initial criteria, they were also scored on their potential to deliver wider social and economic benefits, to improve safety, to bring about improvements to air quality, or to promote increased levels of physical activity.
Proposals were required to demonstrate financial sustainability with benefits enduring beyond the life of the fund, to incorporate a credible delivery plan, and to include a commitment to make a local contribution towards the overall costs.
In line with the published guidance, an assessment of value for money was undertaken. The department is confident that the overall package of proposals approved in this first round represents high value for money.
I have decided to fund 39 proposals in this round. 34 proposals will be funded in full and a further 5 proposals will be funded in part. 13 proposals are considered to have potential when scored against the fund criteria, but in my view require further work.
Their promoters will be invited to improve their offer and resubmit to the department in February 2012, or to improve their offer in the context of their large project proposal, where this proposal is shortlisted. The full list of decisions is attached.
By the deadline of 6 June, the department received 19 expressions of interest for larger projects (requesting between £5 million and £50 million funding from DfT). I intend to announce at the end of July the shortlist of those authorities invited to prepare a detailed business case for their proposal. Detailed business cases will be submitted to the department by December 2011. The department has received 41 expressions of interest for Tranche 2 small project funding, for submission by February 2012. I intend to announce successful projects in this second round in the early Summer of 2012.
I am very pleased that all eligible local authorities across England (with the exception of the Isles of Scilly) have now applied for funding to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, either as a lead bidder, or as a partner authority to a large project. The fund has been well received by local government and I am confident that it will be effective in addressing the two key objectives of supporting growth and cutting carbon.