5 March 2019
The newly formed Peninsula Transport partnership is currently identifying a set of key transport schemes to be submitted to the government’s Major Road Network and Large Local Major fund.
Schemes put forward have to meet a tough set of criteria. The Peninsula Transport Board heard at their recent meeting how all schemes the Board is minded to put forward either in the Major Road Network (MRN) or the Large Local Major schemes (LLM) need to go through a rigorous assessment process before going to the Department for Transport (DfT) in July 2019.
The Board were shown a set of schemes which the five local authorities, which are part of Peninsula Transport, had identified as potentially meeting the criteria.
Cllr Geoff Brown, Chair of Peninsula Transport and Portfolio Holder for Transport at Cornwall Council said: “Deliverability has to be the first hurdle for any scheme. Anything we plan to put forward has to start construction by 2024/25. That means it needs to have the 15% funding from the relevant transport authority, the planning permission needs to be feasible and we must be confident it will start on time. Then we will assess the schemes that get over that hurdle for other aspects such as value for money, economic benefits and environmental impacts.”
The potential schemes include:
Six MRN £20m to £50m –A 39 Camelford Bypass, A38/A374 Marsh Mills to Cattedown, A38/A3064 Weston Mill to Pennycomequick, A382 Drumbridges to Newton Abbott, A379 Exeter Outer Ring Road, A361 Glastonbury bypass and Pilton plus noted was the A358 Henslade Bypass (this scheme is already funded through the RIS programme)
Three LLM over £50m – A38 Manadon Interchange, M5 jct 28 Cullompton, A39 Walton Ashcott Bypass
However, it was stressed that there would be targeted engagement in March with key stakeholders such as the business community. There will also be wider engagement in May around the schemes through the stakeholder forum which the Board agreed to set up.
Cllr Andrea Davis, Vice Chair of PT and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, at Devon County Council added: “We want to hear the views of the business community and transport groups to make sure that schemes which could meet the criteria don’t get overlooked. But deliverability has to be the deal-breaker. However important the scheme is if it can’t be delivered by 2024/25 we can’t put it forward for this funding bid.”
The Board have commissioned AECOM to undertake work during April and May to assess all the potential schemes identified both by the transport authorities and through the engagement process. All aspects of each scheme will be scored on a 1-7 scale and they will be prioritised.
Cllr Mark Coker, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport was keen to ensure that economic impact was thoroughly considered, he noted: “It’s really important that any schemes we put forward as Peninsula Transport helps improve productivity and links to our emerging local industrial strategies being developed by our Local Enterprise Partnerships.”
Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport commented: “We will be bidding for this funding against all the other transport boards in the country so we need to be really sure about the benefits which will be delivered for our communities to ensure we get our share of the national cake. We must also be clear how any schemes we put forward align with those from Western Gateway”
Cllr Robert Excell, Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Community Services added: “It’s important that we consider safety of road users and the improvements in air quality that we can deliver with these schemes and I would want to make sure that we give these elements due emphasis.
The Board also agreed at the meeting the proposals for a Transport Forum which will ensure stakeholders across the peninsula can be kept up to date with the work of Peninsula Transport, a Public Participation scheme which sets out arrangements for members of the public to attend meetings and ask questions and a Communications Strategy which will include development of a website.