Letter from Secretary of State for Transport to
the Chairman of the Committee
Transport in Yorkshire
When Gordon Brown recently gave evidence at the Treasury
Select Committee on the 2004 Budget he agreed that I would write
to you about the delivery of road scheme improvements in Yorkshire.
This was in connection with a question that John Mann asked. (Q329
of the uncorrected evidence refers)
We are already making considerable progress in delivering
improvements to trunk and local road networks in the Yorkshire
and Humber region. Two major schemes were completed in 2003improvements
to the A1033 Hedon Road, Hull and A650 Bingley Relief Road. The
A63 Selby Bypass is expected to be completed in spring 2004.
A number of other schemes in the region are under
- A1 Ferrybridge to Hook Moorwork
commenced on this scheme in May 2003 and it is expected to be
completed in summer 2006;
- A1 Wetheby to Walshfordwork
commenced in May 2003 and completion is expected in spring 2005
There are a further five Yorkshire and Humber schemes
in the Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI) including a bypass
of Rillington in North Yorkshire, two schemes for dualling of
the A66 in North Yorkshire, and major junction improvements at
Melton near Hull and on the A64 at Bilbrough Top, near York.
On the trunk road network the Highways Agency has
been developing measures to speed up the delivery of schemes once
they are added to the TPI. In particular, the Agency is developing
an improved procurement strategy that includes appointing contractors
at a much earlier stage within the process. The Agency is aiming
to produce more focused environmental statements and improvements
to post-inquiry procedures. Collectively, these measures are
expected to lead to a reduction in delivery times for many schemes
from their entry into the TPI to start of construction.
Turning to the local road network, a number of schemes
have been completed over the last few years including the Denaby
Main Diversion, a bypass in Doncaster completed in October 2002
and Stage 2 and 3 of the Coalfield Link Road in Barnsley which
opened to traffic in October 2003. A further six local transport
schemes are under construction within the region.
It is important to emphasise that we look to local
authorities to develop integrated transport strategies as part
of the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process. The local authorities
should address the key transport problems within their areas and
identify priorities for funding through their LTP.
Where the LTP process leads to the identification
of a major road scheme (i.e. a scheme costing more than £5m)
as potentially an appropriate solution, it is then for the local
authority to work up a full scheme appraisal for consideration
by my Department. It is also essential that schemes go through
the appropriate consultation and statutory procedures. The improvements
to the procurement process being developed by the Highways Agency
are also relevant to local authorities. Many authorities are
already developing such techniques for both new major road schemes
and in their road maintenance programmes. We are encouraging
the Highways Agency to share best practice procurement techniques
with local authorities. The significant additional funding we
are providing local authorities have also allowed them to obtain
skills and advice that they require in taking schemes forward.
I hope this is helpful.
Secretary of State
Department for Transport
29 April 2004