Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Explanatory Memorandum from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (EST 98A)



  More details can be found in the Annual Report 1998: chapters 7, 8, 9 and 16 and Tables A2, A10, A11, A14 and A15.
Total vote


Final net provision 1996-97371,384
Provision sought 1998-99364,579
Change (Per cent)-2 Per cent
Final net provision 1997-98316,388
Provision sought 1998-99364,579
Change (Per cent)+15 Per cent

  This Vote replaces the former Class V, Vote 2 (Department of Transport: administration and transport services) and Vote 5 (Roads and local transport).

  Most of the provision is allocated for grants and support to local authorities in respect of expenditure on local roads and transport programmes, funding of the Traffic Director for London (Red Routes), payments in respect of vehicle and traffic enforcement activities and land transport research, and grants to the Humber Bridge Board. In total these programmes make-up some 90 per cent of the cash limit and total provision. Other services funded from the Vote include road safety publicity campaigns along with road safety and mobility grants, traffic control systems expenditure, the maintenance and operating costs of the Woolwich Ferry, transport statistical support to Ministers and senior officials, consultancies for roads and local transport services, planning and minerals research, and licence fee refunds to goods vehicle and public service vehicle operators and drivers.

  There has been five main changes to the Vote structure since 1996-97. Land transport research and development and planning and minerals research have transferred to the Vote from Class V, Vote 2 and Class VI, Vote 4 respectively. The Vote contains provision for a new Government initiative on rural transport funding announced in the March 1998 budget—support for rural bus services. (Provision for the other element of the new rural transport funding, the rural transport Challenge Fund, is made from Class VI, Vote 1). Finally, provision for both the Rural Transport Development Fund and local roads and transport European Regional Development Fund projects formerly held on this Vote, has transferred to Class VI, Vote 1.

  Individual Sections where the level of provision has changed significantly are:

Section A—Grants and consultancies for roads and local transport


Final net provision 1996-972,969
Provision sought 1998-991,038
Change (Per cent)-65 Per cent
Final net provision 1997-982,634
Provision sought 1998-991,038
Change (Per cent)-61 Per cent

  The reduction from both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 level of provision is attributable to the transfer of the budget for the Rural Transport Development Fund to Class VI, Vote 1 with effect from 1998-99.

Section C—Priority routes in London (Red routes)


Final net provision 1996-9717,456
Provision sought 1998-9922,472
Change (Per cent)+29 Per cent

Annual Report 1998—Chapter 8, paragraphs 8.22; table 8a

  Capital expenditure on red routes is, for the most part, concentrated on the implementation of the red route measures. Because the aim is to have the network operational in 2000 to hand over to the GLA, this expenditure increases over the three years beforehand.

Section E—Vehicle and traffic enforcement


Final net provision 1996-9716,329
Provision sought 1998-9913,730
Change (Per cent)-16 Per cent
Final net provision 1997-9816,329
Provision sought 1998-9913,730
Change (Per cent)-16 Per cent

Annual Report 1998—Chapter 8, paragraphs 8.34-8.43; figure 8a

  The reduction from both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 provision is mainly attributable to the accounting treatment advised by Treasury for the re-classification of certain licence receipts under the new European System of Accounts. Gross provision of some £16.3 million per annum has remained almost constant for all three years, but the re-classified licence receipts of some £2.5 million per annum were only netted off in Estimates as appropriations-in-aid from 1998-99. Prior to 1998-99, the re-classified receipts are scored as negative public expenditure Consolidated Fund Extra Receipts.
Section I—Planning and minerals research


Final net provision 1996-973,767
Provision sought 1998-994,667
Change (Per cent)24 Per cent

Annual Report 1998—Chapter 7

  The increase over the level of the 1996-97 provision is attributable to the inclusion of a new programme to provide funding in respect of the EC Community (Interreg) Spatial Planning Initiative.
Section K—Transport supplementary grant


Final net provision 1996-97235,934
Provision sought 1998-99155,478
Change (Per cent)-34 Per cent
Final net provision 1997-98194,876
Provision sought 1998-99155,478
Change (Per cent)-20 Per cent

Annual Report 1998—Chapter 9, paragraph 9.19; figure 9a-9b

  The reduction in provision across the three years is attributable to fewer major schemes being accepted for grant and the effect of the exclusion from grant eligibility of general minor works and local safety schemes, as from 1995.
Section L—Public Transport Facilities grant


Final net provision 1997-9818,309
Provision sought 1998-9942,243
Change (Per cent)+131 Per cent

Annual Report 1998—Chapter 9, paragraph 9.20; figure 9a

  The increased level of provision for 1998-99 includes cover for the Croydon Tramlink project, formerly funded from the Transport industries Vote.
Section M—IDA grants


Final net provision 1996-973,500
Provision sought 1998-992,000
Change (Per cent)-43 Per cent
Final net provision 1997-981,648
Provision sought 1998-992,000
Change (Per cent)+21 Per cent

  The reduction in provision since 1996-97 reflects tauter estimating of the likely grant take-up, coupled with the decision to adopt a more stringent line on the eligibility of applications over the last year or so.

Section O—Licence fee refunds


Final net provision 1996-972,600
Provision sought 1998-991,900
Change (Per cent)-27 Per cent

  The lower provision for 1998-99 reflects revised and tauter estimating of the likely demand for licence fee refunds, following an underspend of £0.6 million on the higher level of 1996-97 provision.

Section P—Grants to Humber Bridge Board


Final net provision 1996-9749,400
Provision sought 1998-9944,000
Change (Per cent)-11 Per cent
Final net provision 1997-9840,000
Provision sought 1998-9944,000
Change (Per cent)+10 Per cent

Annual Report 1998—Chapter 9, paragraph 9.14 indent (iv)

  The provision is required to cover the repayment of loan interest and any capital repayment due to the Public Works Loan Board. The higher level of provision for 1996-97 and 1998-99 reflects the fact that capital repayments of £8 million and £4 million respectively were due in those years, whilst for 1997-98 only repayments of interest were due.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1998
Prepared 17 August 1998