Chris Ames Steve Menary 27 October 2023

Councils await clarity on top-up cash for major schemes

Councils await clarity on top-up cash for major schemes image
Image: newcastle.gov.uk

A number of major local road schemes are hanging in the balance while authorities are left unsure if ministers will stump up the extra cash pledged in the wake of cutting back HS2.

As part of the Network North announcement, the Department for Transport (DfT) said it would increase its contribution to ‘most’ Large Local Major (LLM) and Major Road Network (MRN) schemes from to 85% to 100%, at a cost of £1.3bn.

However, this is based on the projected cost at outline business case (OBC) stage, which may have risen significantly since they were submitted, leaving highway authorities to find cash to bridge the gap.

A number of schemes may not benefit from the uplift because work has already started on a reduced scale for instance, or because the cost estimate on which the 85% contribution was based had already increased at the time the OBC was approved.

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