environment and congestion and to improve safety* were announced by transport minister Tony McNulty today.
The government set out last July, in its White Paper The Future of
on the overall objectives of reducing congestion, pollution and
accidents, rather than promoting individual modes. Under the new
arrangements it will:
* Merge the water freight grants and sustainable road haulage budget
into a single pot from April 2005.
* From April 2007 extend the single pot to include rail freight
grants including Freight Facilities Grant. Subject to the passage of
the Railways Bill, the administration of rail and water freight
grants will be brought together in to a single unit.
* Prioritise schemes that offer the best value for money in terms of
their impact on the environment, safety and congestion.
* Set a minimum value for money threshold whereby every pound spent
on grants will 'buy' benefits valued at£1.50 or more.
* In parallel, use funding from the Aggregate Levy Sustainability
Fund to minimise the transport impacts of aggregates movements.
Taking 2005-06 and 2006-07 together, a total of£50.4m will be
available for rail freight grants and£19.2m for water and
road freight schemes. The rail figures include an additional£2m
available to support new applications. In 2007-08, when rail freight
grants are incorporated into the new arrangements, the total budget
for all modes has been provisionally set at£22.6m.
Mr McNulty said:
'Current freight programmes have separate budgets and are
administered separately even though they all have the same objective.
By bringing these programmes together into one funding pot we can
focus on the overall aim of promoting cleaner, safer freight
transport that does not add to congestion.
These new arrangements will provide better value for money for the
taxpayer, and will ensure that the additional funding announced today
to support the freight industry brings real benefits for the
environment and the economy.'
1. Full details are available here.
2. The Aggregates Levy reduces demand for primary aggregates by
increasing their cost and makes the use of recycled and secondary
materials more viable; but it does not tackle the environmental
impacts directly. The ALSF uses revenue from the Aggregates Levy to
address those environmental impacts. Roughly£300m per year is raised
by the Aggregates Levy and£35m per year is channelled into the Fund
in the UK (£29.3m in England).