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Transport: Expenditure

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of which transport infrastructure projects with a forecast cost of more than £5 million the Highways Agency has carried out feasibility studies; how much these studies have cost; how many of the schemes subject to a feasibility study were approved; and if he will make a statement. (252060)

Since being established in 1994 the Highways Agency has conducted a significant number of feasibility studies which are carried out routinely for projects that are estimated to cost in excess of £5 million. This covers all major infrastructure projects categorised into widening, bypass, junction and technology schemes, consideration of high occupancy vehicle lanes and, more recently, managed motorway improvements. Historically the Highways Agency’s operating protocols and governance arrangements have not required discrete tracking of the costs associated with feasibility work but have been managed within overall resource budget allocations provided by central Government.

Taking into account the number of feasibility studies undertaken since 1994, the amount of work required and the need to access a large number of archived records, it has been concluded that the cost associated with identifying the cost of each study is considered disproportionate.