The new transport board for Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay, which will manage around £40m funding for major local transport schemes throughout the area, is today launching a consultation on the schemes which will be considered for funding.
Local Transport Boards (LTB) are being introduced to provide greater local involvement in the prioritisation, planning and implementation of the delivery of major local transport projects, following a decision by Government in 2012 to devolve this funding from the Department for Transport.
The funding will support the delivery of larger transport schemes (those which cost over £3m) in local authority areas from 2015 to 2019: the Board will consider highway and public transport schemes put forward by the local transport authorities, and prioritise them according to agreed criteria for funding.
The final allocation of funding to the Board will not be known until the Comprehensive Spending Review has been concluded, but is likely to be in the region of £40m. There are likely to be separate funding arrangements for transport schemes which improve nationally strategic routes.
The Board will comprise an elected Member from each of the local transport authorities – Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset, together with representatives from the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Network Rail and the Highways Agency.
17 potential major transport schemes have been identified by the Local Transport Authorities as candidates for this funding and views are being sought before the Board meets in July to define a prioritised programme.
The Board is interested to hear views on the potential composition of the programme, and also to hear if there are any additional schemes which stakeholders believe should have been considered.
Liz Waugh, interim Chief Executive for the Heart of the South West LEP said: “The Local Transport Board will become a powerful voice for the Heart of the South West, shaping economic growth through investment into infrastructure.
“A resilient transport system, capable of supporting growth, is vital for business confidence. The key partners will be working together closely to identify the priority transport projects for funding so as to shape our transport systems effectively and plan for the long term.”
Outline information on the 17 proposed schemes can be found on this website, together with information on how to respond or to access more detailed information.