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Roads: Congestion

Volume 708: debated on Monday 23 February 2009


My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing the second payment tranche for the urban congestion performance fund that will see the 10 largest urban areas in England receive a further £10.7 million to study and address the causes of urban congestion.

My department has a public service agreement indicator regarding journey time on main roads into urban areas. The indicator states that by 2010-11 the 10 largest urban areas in England will meet the congestion targets set in their local transport plan relating to movement on main roads into city centres. The indicator will be deemed to have been met if, on target routes in these areas, an average increase in travel of 4.4 per cent is accommodated with an average increase of 3.6 per cent in person journey time per mile.

In February the department and National Statistics published the Transport Statistics Bulletin for the period up to quarter 4 2008. This included performance data for the urban congestion indicator up to the end of August 2008. These data showed that the average person journey time across all the target routes has improved by 3 per cent between the baseline (using 2004-05 and 2005-06 date) and 2007-08. At the same time the average level of travel fell by 3.3 per cent across all the target routes.

Based on this performance, the £10.7 million payment will now be shared between the participating areas as below:

Urban Area

Tranche 2 Payments



Greater Manchester


West Midlands


West Yorkshire


South Yorkshire


Tyne and Wear












The performance fund is worth a total of £60 million over four years, and today’s announcement will have seen a total of £22.7 million paid to the 10 areas. A further £35 million is available over the next two financial years and will be awarded on a performance basis.