will tackle congestion, improve safety and reliability, and increase
the quality of life was unveiled today by secretary of state for
transport, Alistair Darling.
The improvements tackle some of the country's most serious transport
problems and include significant improvements to the M1, M4, M5, and
the M6 - as well as new proposals to protect the World Heritage Site
of Stonehenge alongside the A303 in Wiltshire.
Nineteen major new local transport schemes - including light rail
services, new public transport interchanges, dedicated bus corridors,
town centre accessibility improvements, and local road improvements -
have also been given the go-ahead, subject to necessary statutory
Alistair Darling said:
'Today's major package of transport improvements will bring real
benefits. From the major motorways which are the nation's arteries to
the local bus and cycle routes many of us rely on, we are seeing real
progress being made - tackling congestion, improving safety and
reliability and increasing the quality of life.
'We are committed to putting right decades of under-investment.
Nationally, by improving the strategic road network - widening parts
of the M6 and M1 - and accelerating the work on the West Coast Main
Line, we are transforming major transport corridors in the country to
bring real benefits for decades to come. Locally, by providing the
funds for councils to deliver the vital transport improvements that
local people want.
'The World Heritage Site at Stonehenge will be enhanced and protected
by putting the existing road in a bored tunnel, which will improve
safety and congestion and minimise traffic disruption during the
construction of the tunnel.'
Alistair Darling today gave the green light to schemes which will:
- plans to widen the M6 between Manchester and Birmingham from three
to four lanes (between junctions 19 and 11a) together with junction
improvements, safety and traffic management measures;
- plans to widen the M1 in the East Midlands generally to 4 lanes
(between junctions 21 and 30) together with junction improvements,
safety and traffic management measures;
- provision of climbing lanes for HGVs and junction improvements on
sections of the M4 and M5 near Bristol;
- plans to improve the A453 from the M1 to Nottingham;
- go-ahead for junction improvements on the A419 Commonhead junction
- up to 1,600 traffic management schemes and over 400 new or
improved road junctions;
- up to 55 new or extended park and ride schemes;
Improve safety and reliability:
- completing dualling of the A1 between Morpeth and Alnwick;
- dualling most of the remaining single carriageway on the A303 and
improving sections of the A30 west of Exeter;
- confirmation of funding approval for extensions to Metrolink, the
tram system in Manchester;
- approval in principle, subject to statutory procedures, of plans
to develop Merseytram, a major new light rail line in Liverpool;
- bus priority measures in Middlesbrough, Wokingham and Walsall;
- around 5,500 local road safety and traffic calming schemes,
including 900 projects involving new lighting or CCTV and around 900
safe routes to school schemes;
- over 1000 km of cycle tracks and lanes and over 1,750 new cycle
parking facilities, such as stands and lockers.
Aid quality of life:
- a£183m 2.1 kilometre bored tunnel option for the upgrade of the
A303 past Stonehenge - protecting the World Heritage Site from heavy
traffic and facilitating the development of a new visitor centre;
- approval for bypasses of Reighton in North Yorkshire and Ashton in
Tameside and on the A69 at Haydon Bridge in Northumberland, the A228
at Leybourne in Kent;
- £600m for local maintenance for local authorities.
- new bus stations in Norwich, North Manchester business park and
- up to 200 km of new footpaths, footway improvements or
pedestrianisation and around 3,500 new or improved road crossings;
- improved pedestrian and cyclist access in Nottingham,
Middlesbrough, Walsall, Warrington, Norwich and Wokingham;
- the award of over£550,000 to 14 pilot schemes that promote the
development of personalised travel planning schemes to help people to
make more environmentally friendly travel choices.
Total allocations for this year to local authorities to spend on
major schemes, smaller local schemes and maintenance is£1.6bn.
This will be distributed as:
Yorkshire & the Humber £166m
East Midlands £129m
West Midlands £177m
£230m will be retained for allocation throughout the year as
other schemes are approved.
Today's announcement covers:
The government's response to five Multi-Modal Studies:
West Midlands to the North West (Midman)
North/South Movements in the East Midlands (M1MMS)
London to the South West and South Wales (SWARMMS)
A1 North of Newcastle (A1MMS)
A453 from M1 (Junction 24) to Nottingham (A453 MMS)
Local transport allocations for 2003/04 to local authorities outside
Provisional approval for 19 local transport major schemes (each
costing more than£5m) including the Merseytram light rail scheme in
Confirmation of funding approval for a third phase of Manchester
Metrolink system providing three new lines linking Oldham and
Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Manchester Airport to the city
The allocation of£586,000 allocated to 14 projects across eight
regions put forward by local traffic authorities and passenger
transport executives to provide tailored information on alternative
forms of transport for people wanting to reduce their car travel.
Implementation of all infrastructure schemes included in the
announcement is subject to the successful completion of all necessary
consultation and statutory procedures (where this has not already
The five Multi-Modal Studies listed in paragraph 1 make
recommendations for improvements to the following transport
- the M6 corridor between the west Midlands and north-west
- the M1 corridor in the east Midlands
- routes to the south-west
- the A1 to the north of Newcastle
- the A453 corridor from the M1 to Nottingham
The government's response to the recommendations from these studies
are set out in letters which have been sent by John Spellar to
regional planning bodies.
Targeted Programme of Improvements
As a result of the London to the South West and South Wales (SWARMMS)
and other decisions announced today the following major road schemes
are being added to the government's targeted programme of
- Grade separation of the A419 Commonhead Junction near Swindon;
- A bypass of the village of Haydon Bridge on the A69 in
- Four schemes on the M4 and M5 around Bristol designed to deal with
- M4 Junction 18 Eastbound Diverge;
- M5 Junction 17 to 18A Northbound Climbing Lane (Hallen Hill);
- M5 Junction 19 to 20 Southbound Climbing Lane (Naish Hill); and
- M5 Junction 19 to 20 Northbound Climbing Lane (Tickenham Hill).
In addition the standard of the tunnel for the A303 Stonehenge scheme
will now be a 2.1 km bored tunnel which will protect the World
Heritage Site from heavy traffic and facilitating the development of
a new visitor centre.
Local Transport settlement
In 2000, local authorities in England (outside London) were given
indicative funding allocations for integrated transport and
maintenance measures for each year to 2005/06. Today's announcement
provides authorities with firm allocations for 2003/04 and explains
how the£1.6bn package (which also includes funding for major
schemes) will be spent.
Local Transport Plans (LTPs), which were submitted in 2000 by all
English local transport authorities outside London, contained an
integrated transport strategy for their area and a costed programme
of measures to improve local transport over the period 2001-02 to
- integrated transport schemes (eg measures to improve local
transport and reduce congestion, promote cycling, walking and road
- local road maintenance and bridge strengthening schemes; and
- major public transport and road schemes costing over£5m
(e.g. integrated town centre improvements, new bus corridors, light
rail and local road schemes).
Authorities submitted 42 bids for major schemes to be considered as
part of this year's settlement.
All major schemes are appraised in accordance with the government's
New Approach to Appraisal (NATA), under which the scheme is assessed
against the government's five criteria of safety, environment,
accessibility, economy and integration. As part of the processlocal
authorities are required to consult the government's statutory
advisers (Environment Agency, English Nature, Countryside Agency,
English Heritage). In addition, DfT has separately consulted the
statutory bodies on all the major schemes. Local authorities will
continue to liaise with statutory bodies throughout the further
detailed design stages of their major schemes.
The majority of the funding for small schemes and maintenance will be
allocated as part of transport's contribution to the cross-service
Single Capital Pot. Authorities will be able to spend it in
accordance with their local priorities and the objectives and
strategies contained in their LTPs.£58m of the funding will be
distributed as part of the 'discretionary element' of the Single
Capital Pot. An announcement on the Single Capital Pot as a whole
including distribution of the 'discretionary element' is being made
by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister today.
Funding held back as reserves will be released to authorities as
schemes complete the necessary statutory procedures. Other funds in
the reserve will be held back pending further justification of bids
from authorities and as a contingency reserve.
Different arrangements apply in London where it is for the mayor to
decide allocations for authorities. Allocations for London boroughs
for 2003/04 were announced on 15 October.
Full details of individual Local Authority LTP allocations can be