County plans for £160 million transport investment programme
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
An investment programme of planned roads maintenance and transport infrastructure improvement schemes, totalling £160 million over the next three years is proposed for Hampshire, subject to County Council approval on 21 February 2013.
This major investment programme aims to support the county's economy and generate business and employment expansion after a period of recession and at a time when the country is working towards economic recovery.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: "It is important to point out that, subject to agreement by the County Council, this programme of investment would be additional to any Government funding for specific transport schemes that the Council might win in 2013-14. We have won a number of funding bids during the past year, based on our ability to provide a sound evidence base and real examples of major scheme delivery. It will be important to ensure we build on this to secure further central Government funding for investment in Hampshire's transport infrastructure. With plans for Government to devolve further transport funding to Local Transport Boards from 2014-15 onwards, we hope to expand our investment programme further over the next few years."
Continued success in securing capital funding for transport and infrastructure from Whitehall has served to boost the level of budget available for a County Council programme of capital investment, with a spend of £60 million proposed for 2013/14 and plans for similar levels of investment over the following two years. The investment will also help the County Council maintain its expertise and delivery capacity, which help to secure and deliver future infrastructure investment to support the economy into the future.
Almost two thirds of the budget is proposed for structural maintenance of highways and bridges. This includes Operation Resilience, the County Council's long term strategy to improve the condition of Hampshire's roads so that they are more resilient and able to withstand the effects of extreme weather and rising volumes of traffic.
Major highways improvement schemes totalling £9.9million have been included in the programme over the next two years for Newgate Lane in Gosport, Black Dam roundabout in Basingstoke and Leigh Road/Passfield Avenue in Eastleigh. A further £14million is proposed in 2015/16.
Additionally, across Hampshire schemes designed to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, and encourage less reliance on the private car are in the proposed programme at a combined value of £8.5million over the three years.
The proposed programme will be considered for recommendation to the Cabinet by the Executive Member for Environment and Transport on 22 January 2013. The Leader and Cabinet, in turn, will consider the proposals and make final recommendations to the County Council on 21 February 2013.