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Local Transport

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much local transport grant was given to City of York unitary council in each year since the council's creation; and what criteria are used to assess how much each local authority receives. (111282)

The City of York council was created in 1996. Total local transport capital funding for the authority each year has been as follows:

Total funding (£ million)

1997-98

2.212

1998-99

1.148

19992000

2.095

2000-01

2.262

2001-02

5.995

2002-03

6.155

2003-04

7.881

2004-05

6.302

2005-06

6.225

2006-07

6.378

This included capital funding for major schemes (those over £5 million), maintenance and local integrated transport.

Total funding for 2007-08 is £6.31 million, which was announced as part of the 2006 local transport settlement in December. This is divided into an integrated transport block and funding for maintenance.

The funding allocations for the integrated transport block for York announced in December as part of the 2006 local transport settlement are as follows:

City of York

Allocation £ million

2007-08

4.141

2008-09

3.737

2009-10

3.374

2010-11

2.986

The 2007-08 allocation is the previously published planning guideline with an uplift of 12.5 per cent. because the council’s local transport plan for 2006- 2011 was assessed as excellent.

In addition, the total capital highway maintenance funding allocation for City of York council for 2007-08 is £1.419 million, all of which is formula funding. We have also provided £0.75 million for capital works on the detrunked sections of the A1079 and A1237. This is in addition to the maintenance allocation outlined above.

Major schemes are no longer included in the local transport settlement. We responded separately in July to the advice from the regions about their priorities for major transport projects—including those promoted by local authorities—up to 2015-16. The Yorkshire and the Humber region is getting £175 million over the next two years.

Nationally, £683 million is being provided for highways capital maintenance in 2007-08. Most (£634 million) is being distributed formulaically. The formula reflects the size and condition of local roads, bridges and street lights. Funding of £47 million is being allocated in response to bids for major maintenance and strengthening on the primary route network and for smaller authorities' exceptional maintenance schemes, and £2 million is to be allocated at a future date.

We are providing £571 million for integrated transport in 2007-08. Its distribution is influenced by three factors: a formula representing local pressures, the previous pattern of distribution and how well authorities have planned and delivered their transport objectives. Indicative allocations of £1,760 million are also being made for the three-year period from 2008-09 to 2010-11 to provide increased certainty and stability for local authorities to plan ahead. These are subject to the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department assesses the quality and performance of local authorities' local transport plans; what assessment his Department has made of City of York council's plans; and if he will make a statement. (111283)

As part of the 2006 local transport settlement, each of the 82 local transport plans in England (outside London) has been assessed against benchmarks grouped into nine criteria. These criteria cover areas such as road safety and congestion as well as how the plan fits in with wider transport policy aims and reflects local priorities. They are based on the central Government and Local Government Association agreed set of shared priorities for transport.

For each of the criteria, each plan is assessed as being weak, fair, good or excellent. Plan classifications are derived from the balance of the criteria classifications.

The City of York council’s second local transport plan (for 2006-11) was assessed as “excellent”. The “excellent” classification means that the Department found evidence of a very high standard of transport planning. The plan builds on the foundations of the first plan (for 2001-06), which has delivered a wide range of benefits for local people.

These include the development of very successful park and ride systems and the new “Overground” bus network, which will evolve into a comprehensive public transport network for local users. The City of York council has already reported a growing number of people using the bus network, in addition to the increasing numbers of people making use of the improved facilities for walking and cycling.

Together with a robust parking management policy and the introduction of the urban traffic congestion management system, these improvements have delivered a significant reduction in traffic and cars parked in the city.