Highways England open for business on £100m growth fund

 

Highways England has invited local partners to submit bids for its £100m growth and housing cash pot, used to match-fund infrastructure to enable new developments.

The fund is open to local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the development community. There will be no capital outlay this year, giving time for developers to prepare bids as well as Highways England to develop a mechanism for assessing growth plans.

From 2016, Highways England plan to release about £20m a year through to 2021.

The news comes as local authorities appear to be struggling with securing strategic infrastructure funding to support local growth, with senior councils members and officials raising serious concerns over the nature of the system.

The new Highways England fund was first announced as part of the Roads Investment Strategy (RIS) 2015-16 to 2019-20, but runs over into 2021. The document states the cash would provide enough ‘leverage and flexibility’ for Highways England to engage positively in ‘progressing schemes to unlock strategic growth’.

‘It is to supplement – not substitute – developer contributions and other existing sources of funding,’ the RIS warns.

Schemes would need to be shovel-ready, having passed the planning stages, and have a quick delivery time. Rules on state aid also mean the government-owned company is looking for bids with multiple developers, with collaboration between local authorities also seen as a potential benefit.

The fund would normally only be applicable to investment on the strategic road network that unlocks major housing developments of more than 5,000 new homes or produces key economic growth.

However Nigel Edwards, divisional director of strategic planning at Highways England, told Transport Network that while schemes should demonstrate a benefit to the strategic road network they do not have to take place on it.

Mr Edwards stressed that bidders would need to provide substantial match funding of 50%, or more in some cases.

He also revealed that LEPs would be particularly likely to benefit from the cash pot stating: ‘The Government is standing behind the LEPs in particular. We find them a good way of working. We delivered our pinch point project working with LEPs, which included 319 schemes. That was a good model to look at.’

He went on to say that through developing an economic plan around the fund and the company’s route-based strategies, Highways England would have a solid national framework for strategic economic growth.

‘We are taking steps to develop our economic growth plan to understand where growth is expected where the pressure points are and have a discussion on where growth can be accommodated. If we plan using a heat map to show where pressure points are we can start to move together with investment and make more intelligent decisions about use of land and how we can facilitate that growth,' he said.

‘This opportunity over the next five years is a springboard for the future. When we develop the criteria we will know the amount needed and the latent demand. If we can make this a success that gives a strong lever to say this works, this is how we made it work, so that in the next RIS there is an encouragement to extend the fund.’

Mr Edwards revealed that discussions were taking place regarding the next RIS, with potentially long-term road strategies ready within a year.

In terms of local difficulties over developments and road building, Mr Edwards stressed Highways England is ‘not there to mediate between people who are having problems with planning’.

However he added: 'If there is local pressure to deliver something and it’s not clear what infrastructure is needed to make sure that development is a success I would always recommend early engagement with Highways England.

‘If it has relevance to the strategic road network then come to us early on, talk to us about the proposal that you are wrestling with so we can help and make something work.’

 Surveyor's Highway Management conference will take place on September 23rd and 24th in Manchester. To register go to: www.highway.surveyorevents.com

Also see

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Technician

Derbyshire County Council
£22,628 - £24,455 per annum
Two posts have become available in the Council's Highways Development Control Section Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Head of Network Planning

Derbyshire County Council
£52,999 - £58,310 per annum
This is a key role at Derbyshire County Council that will lead the strategic and operational planning and management of... Matlock, Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Senior Parking Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
As Senior Parking Manager, you will be responsible for the effective management of the Council’s Parking Services contract, and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Group Engineer (Highway Design)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£39,782 to £43,757 plus £3,000 Market Rate Supplement
Are you an experienced engineer looking for an opportunity to improve the lives of the local people of... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Group Engineer (Highways Network and Asset Management)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£39,782 to £43,757
Looking for a Group Engineer who already has... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Validation Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£21,188 - £29,796
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Transport & Infrastructure Planning Officer

Essex County Council
£52000 - £57570.0 per annum
Please note this is a two year fixed term contract with a potential for extension, subject to budget and workload. Job purpose Calling all transport P England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Food Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 to £42,490
Seeking a highly motivated and experienced Environmental Health Officer to join our busy Food Safety team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£25,327 - £36,486 depending on skills and experience
We have an exciting opportunity within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for 2 x Policy Planner roles... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Highways Inspector

Cambridgeshire County Council
£19,554 - £23,836
Looking for candidates who have experience of highways maintenance and have a sound technical understanding of highways. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Street Services Recruitment Day

Royal Borough of Greenwich
Competitive Salary
This role involves collecting residents and business wheelie bins and waste containers you will work as... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Assistant Tree Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£25,880 - £27,904
Looking for an assistant tree officer to join a busy Tree Section working with the most up to date arboriculture equipment’s and IT resources.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Design Engineer - Guildford

Surrey County Council
£39,438 - £43,744 per annum
An opportunity has arisen within Surrey County Council's Highway Design & Delivery Team... Guildford, Surrey
Recuriter: Surrey County Council

Director of External Operations

Somerset West and Taunton Council
£100,000
Somerset West and Taunton Council has been through a transformation that puts customers at the heart of everything we do. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset West and Taunton Council

Zero Emissions Network Officer

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£33,759 - £34,986
We are looking for an enthusiastic Zero Emissions Network Officer Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Contract Supervisor

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,013 - £36,486 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
The role of Contract Supervisor (Waste and Street Cleansing) will require you to support ambitious plans to provide services for residents Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Flood Risk Manager

Birmingham City Council
£43,662 - £54,574
The role requires the post holder to be the lead professional for the Authority’s Flood Risk Management and drainage function Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council