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Councils told to ask for more transport money

LOCAL AUTHORITIES have been told to beef up this year's bids for transport funds as they did not forsee the cash bonanza set out in the Government's recent 10 year transport plan.

The £30bn set down by the Government for local transport over the next 10 years (NCE 20/27 July) caught authorities by surprise and left their Local Transport Plans too conservative. The Government is now asking for supplementary bids to increase the level of spending.

In Tyne and Wear, proposals for the final phase of the Scotswood Road dualling, the Sunderland Inner Relief Road and the North Tyneside Sandyline Link are set to be dusted down.

Assistant head of transport at Newcastle City Council Jim McMahon said: 'The guidance we were given previously in Tyne and Wear was that six major schemes were all we could do in five years. We have now included three new road schemes worth around £15M each and a programme of Metro improvements.'

Some authorities have doubled their bids from last year.

LTP co-ordinator for the 11 authorities in Greater Manchester Paul Feehily said: 'Originally we were just trying to be realistic. We are now bidding for 100% more schemes like safe routes to school, cycling and pedestrian priority and have added the Ashton Northern Bypass.'

Nottingham City Council's new bid of £14.45M is 93% more than last year and could enable it to fast-track two major integrated transport interchanges around the inner and the outer ring roads.

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