The Government’s decision to divert integrated transport block funding into the Local Growth Fund is hampering the delivery of low-cost transport projects, a council has said.
The integrated transport block grant paid to highway authorities outside London supports a range of projects such as 20mph speed limit schemes, bus priority and other traffic management schemes, and cycle infrastructure improvements.
The Government, however, now diverts 44% of the grant into the unringfenced Local Growth Fund.
“The limited level of funding available through the integrated transport budget has a serious impact on the council’s ability to undertake small-scale transport schemes,” said Paul Dowling, Gateshead’s group director, communities and environment.
He said Gateshead’s integrated transport settlement in 2016/17 was expected to be £1,280,916.
“As with the settlement in 2015/16, a further consequence locally in this reallocation of funding nationally is that Gateshead and the other Tyne and Wear authorities will not receive a public transport allocation through Nexus. In 2014/15 Gateshead received £383,000 of public transport funding in addition to the standard local transport plan allocation.”
Gateshead’s total anticipated funding for local transport plan schemes in 2016/17 is actually £3.3m, with £1.7m carried over from 2015/16 (including integrated transport block and Cycle City funding), and £300,000 of prudential borrowing.
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