Local Transport Body submits priorities
Hertfordshire’s Local Transport Body (LTB) has submitted its priority list of major transport schemes to be delivered from 2015-19 to the Department for Transport.
The Hertfordshire LTB, which was set up in response to Department for Transport (DfT) requirements, includes Hertfordshire County Council, the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Hertfordshire Infrastructure Planning Partnership (HIPP) - which represents the 10 district and borough councils. The LTB has been sanctioned by the Department for Transport as a funding body and as such can now allocate funds for major transport schemes.
Following Government approval the LTB’s first task, according to strict criteria, was to agree major schemes as priorities to be delivered in 2015-19:
• A120 Little Hadham Bypass (£28.6m)
• A602 Stevenage to Ware improvements (£11.2m)
• A1(M) congestion relief (Welwyn Garden City to/from Stevenage) (28.1m - £49.4m)
There are a number of schemes which have been endorsed by the LTB in addition to the three short listed. Hatfield Station Interchange has an £11m funding package currently being finalised and Croxley Rail Link Metropolitan Line Extension in Watford has an agreed total funding package of £118m and was last week given the go-ahead by the DfT. Additionally M1-Maylands link north east relief road in Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction Interchange redevelopment and the Abbey Line improvement between Watford and St Albans have been endorsed by the LTB but are not yet in a position to be delivered.
The DfT recently announced that the Hertfordshire LTB will receive an allocation of £18.5m for 2015-19 to contribute towards the funding of the major transport schemes prioritised by the Local Transport Body. This money will not be enough to deliver all three prioritised schemes.
However, scheme promoters will continue to develop the business cases for the endorsed schemes and identify further sources of funding. To support this, the Hertfordshire LEP will be invited by Government to bid for additional funding for transport schemes through the new Single Local Growth Fund recently announced by HM Treasury. Details of the competitive bidding process for this additional funding will be announced by Government shortly.
Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways and Waste Management at Hertfordshire County Council and chair of the LTB, said: "There’s long way to go to make these projects a reality, but all of the suggested schemes would deliver benefits to Hertfordshire and the LTB remains committed to other transport schemes across the county in addition to the three prioritised."
Hertfordshire LEP Infrastructure Chair Andrew Percival said: “In our three priority projects, we have identified schemes which can make a genuine difference to the county; easing congestion, improving transport links and aiding economic growth. Hertfordshire’s location and connectivity are real strengths for the county’s businesses, it’s vital to build on these strengths and prepare for the future, ensuring Hertfordshire remains perfectly placed for business.”
Cllr Mandy Perkins, Executive Member for Planning and Business at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and the LTB lead from the Hertfordshire Infrastructure Planning Partnership, said: “On behalf of the LTB, I’m really pleased that we are able to support projects that can benefit residents travelling in the county. The three major schemes we have identified as our top priority, including the A1(M), are, I hope, just the start. We will do everything in our power to push for further funding to ensure that these and other schemes we’ve identified can be delivered within a reasonable timescale.”
The LTB welcomes comments from Hertfordshire residents and businesses on the prioritisation process and outcomes. More information on the process and on how to comment, as well as other major local schemes supported by the LTB, can be found at www.hertsdirect.org/ltb