Bypass Funding

Posted on Dec 1, 2017

We have received queries about funding for roads and KCC’s stance on a possible by-pass for Westerham.

In order to report back to our residents, we have contacted both our MP, Sir Michael Fallon and our County Councillor, Nick Chard.

Funding for by-passes

There was widespread reporting in the press in July of ‘£1bn a year cash for by-passes.’ A response from Sir Michael Fallon’s office clarifies that these reports referred to the existing and oversubscribed Transport Investment Strategy, and was not an announcement of new funding for by-passes as suggested by the press reports. His response states:

I believe I have an explanation for the difficulties we were facing in tracking down the funding.  In short, the fund mentioned in the article you sent to Sir Michael does not exist.  The article refers to the Transport Investment Strategy, published on 5 July.  This was reported in the press as a ‘bypass fund’ earmarked for local councils, but this is currently not the case.

The Transport Investment Strategy summarises the current funding options available to local authorities.  In particular, it states that ‘we have created the Large Local Majors programme, through which we have already approved two schemes and are providing business case development funding for 17 more.  This programme has been heavily oversubscribed so far, so decisions on funding are taken by Government, based on competitive bidding processes’ (para 4.13).

The only new announcement in the paper is of an intention to consult later in 2017 on the creation of a new Major Road Network, which mean that main roads currently overseen by local authorities would share the VED funded National Roads Fund which was previously envisaged to be ring-fenced for national routes.  UK VED was £5.8 billion for 2016-17. Page 47 of the Strategy provides further detail should you wish to find out more, but it does not provide a specific funding figure.

Ultimately, there is no new fund to speak of as yet for which you could apply.  At the moment, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership would provide the best option, because it has access to millions of pounds worth of funding through the Growth Deal (and it already funding a number of road schemes.”

KCC’s stance

On County Councillor Nick Chard’s request, KCC issued the following statement:

“Subject to the necessary investigations, the provision of a relief road/ bypass for Westerham is acceptable in principle where this will lead to a reduction in traffic impact on local roads. In the context of the relief road/ bypass being provided in order to facilitate development, KCC Highways cannot give any support in the absence of a comprehensive and detailed outline submission.”

 

Westerham Town Council will be discussing its position on the result of its vote on Which Way Westerham and related matters at its next meeting and will continue to ‘Keep you Informed’.

 

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