Road building schemes in England are delivered through two main programmes: the Highways Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI) and major road schemes managed by local authorities and funded by the Department for Transport as part of Local Transport Plans (LTP). Together these programmes involve road schemes with costs currently estimated to total some£12bn. The schemes include bypasses and other new roads, new bridges, road widening and major junction improvements.
In December 2005 the Department for Transport reported that cost increases on these schemes averaged 45 per cent on LTP schemes and 67 per cent on schemes that entered the TPI before April 2003.
We are examining:
* the reasons for cost escalation
* whether the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport have effective arrangements for managing cost escalation
We expect to publish our report in the autumn of 2006.
Members of the NAO team
Jill Goldsmith, Director of Transport VFM
T: 020 7798 7120
Nicola Coy, Audit Manager, Transport VFM
T: 020 7798 7484
The team would be interested to receive any comments you might have to make about the issues we are examining by the end of June 2006.