Roads audit shows £11bn backlog being cleared 24 Jun 2013

Ministers fill in £11 billion funding black hole as road scheme backlog starts to clear

On the eve of the comprehensive spending review the latest RAC Foundation audit of English road building shows that progress has been made by government in improving capacity.

In November 2011, a report for the Foundation found the Department for Transport had 96 major road schemes – at both Highway Agency and local authority level – sitting on its shelves gathering dust.

The projects had been costed but were unfunded. Combined, the value of these schemes was at least £10.7 billion. Many schemes had been assessed as delivering very high value for money.

This latest audit shows that, some eighteen months on, 33 of the original 96 schemes have now been approved.

Nine of these 33 are Highways Agency schemes for the Strategic Road Network, with work due to start before the end of 2014/15. Development work is underway on a further 6 ‘pipeline’ schemes from the list. The Government has also given the go-ahead to 24 of the 35 local authority major schemes included in the list.

The original list of 96 and their updated status is available as an addendum to the report.

Other schemes, both Highways Agency and Local Authority, not included in the original list, are also being progressed.  The total cost of these 33 schemes is in the range £2.1-2.7 billion with a consequent reduction in the size of funding gap.

But worryingly the DfT no longer makes publically available benefit/cost ratios for projects before they have been rubber-stamped making it impossible to judge how value for money decisions are being made and how one proposed scheme compares with another.

This audit was carried out by John Smith, one of the authors (together with the consultancy Arup) of the original report.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“Credit where credit is due. After our 2011 report government have given the green light to a lot of important, high-profile road schemes.

“But it is a real concern that benefit/cost ratios are now only published when schemes are given the go-ahead and contracts have been signed, by which time it is too late for the public to assess the value of these projects.

“Going forward the critical thing is money. We are still to hear the results of the greatly anticipated and much delayed feasibility study into road funding, but for all the talk of tolling and road pricing if ministers really wanted to rebuild trust between government and drivers a good way to start would be to spend a bigger share of the £33 billion collected in VED and fuel duty each year on infrastructure.”

ENDS

Contact:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

Philip.gomm@racfoundation.org | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation which explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. The Foundation is a registered charity.

The calculation of the reduction in the size of the funding gap might understate the position for two reasons:

1)     It does not include the value of the ‘pipeline’ projects. These are in the range of £1.1-1.5 billion.

2)     Two of the largest schemes on the original list - the Dartford Crossing and A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton – are also being actively progressed by the DfT.

John Smith’s report is available here:

http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/road_programmes_england-smith-june2013.pdf

The 2011 John Smith/Arup report is available here:

http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/providing_and_funding_strategic_roads-arup-071111.pdf

The full list of 96 schemes from the 2011 report is printed below with updates from the current audit. Note – Schemes 1-61 are HA projects and cost data comes from the Agency. Those from 62 onwards are local authority major projects. The costs for these LA schemes were published by the DfT in late 2011:

Table 1: List of unfunded projects identified

         
 

Projects

Authority

Reported cost (£ million, 2010 values)

 Funding or Development Approval given

Latest project Cost (£m)

Notes

1

A1 Adderstone to Belford Dualling

Highways Agency

18

     

2

A1 Dishforth to Barton Improvement Scheme

Highways Agency

315

2012 Autumn Statement

292-392

 

3

A1 Morpeth to Felton Dualling

Highways Agency

103

     

4

A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton

Highways Agency

1,065

     

5

A14 Kettering Bypass Widening

Highways Agency

110

2011 Autumn Statement

80-107

 

6

A160 / A180 Improvements, Immingham

Highways Agency

108

Development (‘Pipeline’) Approval 2012

89-132

 

7

A19 / A1067 Seaton Burn Junction Improvements

Highways Agency

72

     

8

A19 Testos Junction Improvements

Highways Agency

49

     

9

A19 / A1058 Coast Road Junction Improvement

Highways Agency

140

Development

(‘Pipeline’) Approval 2012

113-166

 

10

A19 / A189 Moor Farm Junction

Highways Agency

90

     

11

A21 Baldslow Junction Improvement

Highways Agency

28

     

12

A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Improvement

Highways Agency

97

     

13

A21 Tonbridge to Pembury Dualling

Highways Agency

117

Development

(‘Pipeline’) Approval 2012

94-127

 

14

A27 Chichester Improvement

Highways Agency

85

     

15

A30 Carland Cross to Chiverton Cross

Highways Agency

149

     

16

A30 Temple to Higher Carblake Improvement

Highways Agency

59

2012 Autumn Statement

60

 

17

A303 Stonehenge Improvement

Highways Agency

534

     

18

A38 Derby Junctions

Highways Agency

168

     

19

A45 / A46 Tollbar End Improvement

Highways Agency

116

2011 Autumn Statement

109-150

 

20

A453 Widening (M1 Junction 24 to A52 Nottingham)

Highways Agency

153

2011 Autumn Statement

150

 

21

A120 Braintree to Marks Tey

Highways Agency

525

     

22

A21 South Pembury to Hastings Route Improvements

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

23

A303 / A358 South Petherton to M5 Taunton

Highways Agency

421

     

24

A417 Cowley to Brockworth Bypass Improvement

Highways Agency

66

     

25

A47 Blofield to North Burlingham

Highways Agency

26

     

26

A483 Pant to Llanymynech Bypass

Highways Agency

60

     

27

A49 Hereford to Ross on Wye Accident Prevention Scheme

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

28

A50 / A500 Queensway Interchange Bridges - Remedial Paint Works

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

29

A57 / A628 Mottram in Longdendale, Hollingworth and Tintwistle Bypass

Highways Agency

116

     

30

A585 Norcross Junction Improvement

Highways Agency

2

     

31

A629 Cononley Crossroads Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

32

A63 Osgodby Bypass

Highways Agency

6

     

33

A64 Rillington Bypass

Highways Agency

8

     

34

A64 York to Scarborough Proposed Dualling

Highways Agency

674

     

35

A66 Appleby to Brough

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

36

A66 Dualling Bowes Bypass

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

37

A66 Dualling Cross Lanes to Greta Bridge

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

38

A66 Dualling Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

39

A66 Penrith to Temple Sowerby

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

40

A66 Temple Sowerby to Appleby

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

41

A5 to M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass)

Highways Agency

146

2012 Autumn Statement

134-189

 

42

A63 Castle Street Improvement

Highways Agency

151

Development

(‘Pipeline’) Approval 2012

129-192

 

43

M1 Jct 19 Improvement Scheme

Highways Agency

213

2011 Autumn Statement

185-273

 

44

M1 J34 North to J37 Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

45

M1 J37 to J39 Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

46

M1 Jct 30 to Jct 31 Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

47

M1 Jct 31 to Jct 32 Northbound Collector / Distributor

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

48

M1 Jct 32 to Jct 34 South Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

49

M1 Junctions 21 to 25 Improvements

Highways Agency

299

     

50

M11 and A120 Stansted Generation 2 Airport Access

Highways Agency

140

     

51

M20 Junction 10A

Highways Agency

52

     

52

M25 J30 / A13 Congestion Relief Scheme

Highways Agency

500

Development

(‘Pipeline’) Approval 2012

150

Also included in 2012 National Infrastructure Plan -  with work scheduled to start in 2015

53

M3 J2-4a Managed Motorway

Highways Agency

236

2011 Autumn Statement

148-230

 

54

M4 J3-12 Managed Motorway Scheme

Highways Agency

725

Development

(‘Pipeline’)

Approval 2012

525-720

 

55

M54 to M6 / M6 Toll Link Road

Highways Agency

205

     

56

M6 Junction 10A to 13 Managed Motorway

Highways Agency

168

2011 Autumn Statement

140-201

 

57

M6 Junction 13 to 19 Managed Motorway

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

58

M60 Junction 12 Eccles Interchange

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

59

M62 J25 to J27 Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

60

M62 J27 to J28 Improvement

Highways Agency

Unknown

     

61

Additional capacity at Dartford

Highways Agency

1,000

     

62

Waverley Link Road

Local Authority

10

     

63

Beverley Integrated Transport Plan

Local Authority

37

     

64

A684 Bedale-Aiskew-Leeming Bar Bypass

Local Authority

34

Dec. 2011 Announcement

42.1

 

65

Norwich Northern Distributor Road

Local Authority

127

Dec. 2011 Announcement

111.1

 

66

Loughborough Town Centre Transport Scheme

Local Authority

17

     

67

Nottingham Ring Road

Local Authority

35

Dec. 2011

Announcement

16.2

 

68

Weston Super Mare Package

Local Authority

14

Dec. 2011

Announcement

15

 

69

A6182 White Rose Way Improvement Scheme

Local Authority

28

2011 National Infrastructure Plan (NIP)

9.7

 

70

Crewe Green Link Southern Section

Local Authority

30

2011 NIP

26.5

 

71

Sunderland Strategic Corridor

Local Authority

99

Dec. 2011

Announcement

117.8

 

72

A18 to A180 Link

Local Authority

8

2011 NIP

6.3

 

73

Bexhill to Hastings Link Road

Local Authority

115

 Go-ahead given April 2013  92  

74

A509 Isham Bypass

Local Authority

21

     

75

Watford Junction Interchange

Local Authority

93

     

76

A43 Corby Link Road

Local Authority

45

2011 NIP

34.9

 

77

A1056 Northern Gateway

Local Authority

13

     

78

Luton Town Centre Transport Scheme

Local Authority

27

Dec. 2011

Announcement

23.9

 

79

Sunderland Central Route

Local Authority

25

     

80

Darlaston Strategic Development Area scheme

Local Authority

30

Dec. 2011

Announcement

25.9

 

81

Camborne-Pool-Redruth Transport Package

Local Authority

47

Dec. 2011

Announcement

26.8

 

82

A24 Ashington to Southwater

Local Authority

2

     

83

A164 Humber Bridge to Beverley improvements

Local Authority

13

2011 NIP

10

 

84

Northern Road Bridge

Local Authority

21

2011 NIP

12.7

 

85

Kingskerswell Bypass

Local Authority

110

2011 NIP

109.2

 

86

South Bristol Link Phases 1 & 2

Local Authority

47

2011 NIP

41.6

 

87

Worcester Integrated Transport Strategy

Local Authority

46

Dec. 2011 Announcement

19.6

 

88

Chester Road

Local Authority

17

Dec. 2011 Announcement

10.5

 

89

Lincoln Eastern Bypass

Local Authority

130

2011 NIP

89.7

 

90

Morpeth Northern Bypass

Local Authority

43

Dec. 2011

Announcement

30.1

 

91

Stafford Western Access Improvements

Local Authority

39

     

92

A338 Bournemouth Spur Road maintenance

Local Authority

21

     

93

Evesham Bridge Maintenance

Local Authority

14

2011 NIP

12.6

 

94

A45 Westbound Bridge

Local Authority

13

2011 NIP

12.1

 

95

A38(M) Tame Viaduct

Local Authority

31

     

96

Leeds Inner Ring Road

Local Authority

43

Dec. 2011

Announcement

25

 
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