of a paper setting out the government's proposals for transferring
parts of the English trunk road network to local highway authorities.
Under the proposals, 40% of the trunk road network would
Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Transport conference A New
Trunk Roads Strategy Lord Whitty said:
'Our aim is to get decisions taken at the right level where the main
issues are most clearly understood. We want decisions about non-core
routes to be taken by local highway authorities. The paper we are
publishing today, after consultation with the Local Government
Association, sets out how we intend to meet that objective, firstly
by setting up arrangements for 'virtual detrunking' and later through
actual detrunking under which local highway authorities will take on
full legal responsibility for non-core trunk roads.'
The integrated transport White Paper A New Deal For Transport: Better
for Everyone, launched in July, identified a core network of
nationally important trunk roads. Allowing local highway authorities
to manage the non-core trunk roads which serve mainly local or
regional traffic would enable decisions about them to be taken
locally and would improve integration with local transport and land
Lord Whitty acknowledged that if local highway authorities were to
take on full responsibility for non-core routes then they would have
to be given additional financial resources. He said:
'There is to be further consultation with the Local Government
Association on the issue of transfer of financial resources. It is
the government's intention that there should be a fair reallocation
of resources to reflect the maintenance responsibilities which local
highway authorities will assume.'
1. The White Paper A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone
(Cm 3950) identified a 'core' network of trunk roads. This includes
about 60% of the existing all-purpose trunk road network or 70% of
the national road network, including motorways. Under the proposals
set out in the White Paper and amplified in the report on the review
of the trunk road programme A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England,
the non-core trunk roads would be transferred to local highway
authorities (detrunked). The paper 'Roads Review: Implementation of
Detrunking Proposals' has been sent to all English local authorities
and sets out in more detail how the Government intends to take this
process forward. Further copies may be obtained from Mr N Peel,
Roads Policy Division, Zone 3/01, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham
Street, London SW1P 4DR.
2. The first step will be the establishment of arrangements for
'virtual detrunking'. Under virtual detrunking local highway
authorities will consider non-core routes as part of their local road
network and propose any improvements through the new local transport
plans system. The Highways Agency will remain legally responsible
for the routes and fund the costs of maintenance and improvement.
The aim will be to move quickly from virtual detrunking to actual
detrunking whereby full legal and financial responsibility for
non-core routes will be transferred to local highway authorities by
making of statutory detrunking orders under the Highways Act 1980.
3. Implementation of the detrunking proposals will be subject to
full consultation with individual local highway authorities. The aim
is to have arrangements for virtual detrunking in place by the end of
March 1999. Subject to the outcome of consultations it is envisaged
that actual detrunking will be phased over a number of years.