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Departmental Public Expenditure

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to accelerate spending through existing maintenance contracts in line with the Government’s plans to increase infrastructure spending. (243802)

[holding answer 15 December 2008]: The Highways Agency has been asked to review the potential for accelerating its investment and renewals activity in order to deliver an economic stimulus. The review of priorities is under way and covers major construction projects as well as maintenance activity. Existing contracts are designed to manage a flexible workload to meet such variations.

The management of maintenance works for local roads is a matter for each local highway authority. My Department provided funding of £2.1 billion to local authorities, in England outside London, as part of the 2007 Local Transport Plan settlement for capital highway maintenance for the period 2008-09 to 2010-11. Local authorities have discretion on how to spend this funding. This certainty of funding allows authorities to plan their maintenance to match their local priorities. Funding for local roads in London is a matter for the Mayor.