On 6 July 2006 the Secretary of State confirmed 16 major road and public transport schemes in the north-east that we expected to fund from regional funding allocations (RFA) between 2006-07 and 2008-09. Three of them are located in the Tees Valley.
Also included was an indicative list of three schemes that can be progressed for delivery in the remaining RFA years, from 2009-10 to 2015-16. Elements of the Tees Valley bus network scheme are located in Hartlepool. Funding will, of course, be subject to schemes securing all necessary statutory powers, demonstrating sufficient value for money, and being supported by a satisfactory business case.
Decision letters for local transport plans covering the period 2007 to 2011 were issued last December. The north-east authorities were awarded a total of £141.382 million to fund capital improvements. The proportion allocated to the Tees Valley authorities is £32.079 million, including £4.459 million to Hartlepool borough council.
In addition, the Government are supporting both Durham county council (£400,000) and the Tyne and Wear authorities (£1.7 million) with pump-priming funding to support the development of Transport Innovation Fund (TIP) packages that address local congestion problems by combining demand management, including road pricing, with better public transport.
Also, the Department has regular discussions with the Highways Agency about all proposed improvement schemes for the A1 in the north-east and the Secretary of State has recently agreed that they should continue the development work on the A1 Newcastle/Gateshead western bypass scheme.
All of the transport initiatives are being developed with a view to delivering the Government’s shared agenda of tackling congestion, delivering improved accessibility, providing safer roads and better air quality, as well as tackling other quality of life issues. Together, these objectives would contribute to facilitating economic growth, reducing environmental damage and widening access to services and opportunities to the population.