Transport Secretary gives the go-ahead to 24 New Schemes and announces over 600M of further funding. What does this mean for the North West?

Posted On 27/10/2010

On 26th October 2010, the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced the go-ahead in England for a further 16 road and public transport schemes. Along with the eight schemes announced by the Chancellor on 20th October as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, work will therefore begin on a total of 24 schemes in England as a result of the Department for Transport's spending review settlement.

Full details of the announcement can be downloaded at http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/Content/Detail.aspx?ClientId=202&NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=416188&SubjectId=36.

In the North West funding has been confirmed for the following schemes, subject to statutory processes.

  • M60 Junctions 8-12 - Provision of dynamic hard shoulder running on the 3.9-mile stretch of the M60 Manchester orbital motorway between junctions 8 and 12 adjacent to the Trafford Centre shopping mall.
  • M60 Junctions 12-15 - Provision of an additional lane to the anti-clockwise carriageway of the M60 Manchester orbital motorway covering the 3 miles between junctions 15 and 12. 
  • M62 Junctions 18-20 - Provision of dynamic hard shoulder running on the 5-mile stretch of the M62 between junctions 18 and 20 which connects to the M60 Manchester orbital motorway at Junction 18. 
  • A556 Knutsford - Bowdon - The upgrade of a 4-mile link between the M6 junction 19 and the M56 junction 7 from 4 lane single carriageway to dual carriageway standard.

In addition, the following local infrastructure projects - the 'supported group' - have been confirmed, subject to a best and final offer from local authorities as a result of the spending review settlement. Subject to these offers from local authorities being acceptable, funding will be confirmed in January 2011.

  • Thornton to Switch Island Link - A new single carriageway bypass which will ease congestion in Sefton and improve access to the region's motorway network.
  • Heysham to M6 Link Road - A bypass to the north of Lancaster, connecting the port of Heysham to the M6. 
  • Mersey Gateway Bridge.
Another pot of over £600m will be available to fund further local authority projects. The Department for Transport (DfT) will conduct some further analysis on 22 schemes across England - the 'development group' - and invite best and final funding bids from this pot. Final decisions on funding will be made by the end of 2011. In the North West this comprises the following four schemes:
  • Rochdale Interchange
  • Crewe Green Link Southern Section
  • Manchester Cross City Bus
  • Pennine Reach (East Lancs Rapid Transit)

The DfT will undertake further analysis of another 34 schemes (non of which are in the North West) - the 'pre-qualification group', which either need updated appraisal or have not yet been fully evaluated - by January 2011 to determine which of them can enter the development group.

DfT have also announced:

  • that the level of funding required for schemes already under construction is such that it is unlikely that any new schemes will be able to begin construction before 2012/13; and
  • it cannot at this point consider any new local authority schemes other than those identified in the announcement.

 

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