The LTB administers the major transport scheme funding devolved to the area by the Department of Transport (DfT). Local authorities had to previously bid individually to the DfT on a scheme by scheme basis.

The local authority areas of Devon Somerset, , Torbay and Plymouth which are contiguous with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Government wishes to give local areas, and in particular Local Enterprise Partnerships, a greater say over how major transport scheme funding is spent within the area. The Board will manage funding from 2015/16 onwards.

The definition will vary from one LTB area to another but in the Heart of the South West this covers schemes over £3m in value. They can be both road schemes and rail schemes; both are included in the current submissions.

In general this funding is for schemes on the local highway network, not the strategic network (e.g. trunk A Roads and motorways) operated by the Highways Agency although junction improvements may be included. The Highways Agency has its own source of funding from Government. Similarly Network Rail (with Train Operating Companies) has its own funding for the majority of improvements but again local improvements such as new stations and possibly branch line extensions could receive LTB funding.

The Government has awarded an initial minimum of £27.1m for the area as a whole for the 2015/16 to 2020/21 period. This is addition to local contributions from local authorities and other sources. The LEP, working closely with local authorities, will submit a Strategic Economic Plan to Government by March 2014 to make the case for further transport and other funding from the Single Local Growth Fund to support growth over the same period.

The Board has six voting members, two from the Heart of South West LEP and one from each local transport authority. Non-voting members represent Network Rail and the Highways Agency. View the membership page for further details.

Schemes are generally developed by local authorities who have the necessary resources and expertise. They are usually infrastructure requirements within wider plans to support development and growth in the area, for example Local Plans / Local Development Frameworks and Local Transport Plans. District Councils therefore have a major part to play in two tier areas. Other schemes may be generated in the longer term from consultation responses and / or the priorities of the LEP.

The assurance framework, and in particular Part 3, sets out how the Board will prioritise schemes. This has to closely follow minimum standards set out by the DfT. Stakeholder and public views expressed through consultation will also be taken into account.

Government funding will be available for the period 2015/16 to 2020/21. Local contributions to develop, prepare and complete schemes may be used either side of this period.

The Board has prioritised the initial Government allocation of £27.1m as per the above press release. This is still subject to the business cases being agreed for the schemes in 2014.

Further funding on top of this will be subject to the award of Single Local Growth Funding to the LEP in Summer 2014 based on the quality of its Strategic Economic Plan.

An initial consultation on the prioritised programme took place in June 2013. Further consultation may be required if new schemes are submitted at a later date.

Promoting local authorities are responsible for detailed consultations on their own schemes (usually prior to submission), for example the impact on local landowners. Where possible links to these consultations will be made available on this website.

The Board makes decisions based on the prioritisation process set out in the assurance framework. To ensure transparency and a fair process it is advised by an Independent Transport Adviser who will comment on the costs and benefits of each scheme and how well they meet the prioritisation criteria in the assurance framework.

As noted above local highway authority members make up the majority of the Board. Schemes are very unlikely to proceed without the investment of time and funding by local transport authorities. The only exception to this may be where the LTB influences (but not necessarily funds) schemes being proposed by Network Rail or the Highways Agency.

Local authorities are generally responsible for developing schemes in detail and arranging funding contributions from local sources.

Much of the information you may need is available on the website. You can contact the secretariat for more information (see below) or attend Board meetings (also see below). Members of the public can make written submissions to the Board in advance of a meeting but this will be required at least ten days in advance of the relevant meeting date.

Details of forthcoming meetings will be available on the website including in the Forward Plan which will be revised regularly. Please take a look at the meetings page for further details.

Yes. Meetings are usually held in Exeter but the exact location will vary – please check the website for details. If you intend coming to a meeting please advise the secretariat in advance as far as possible so that sufficient room can be made available.