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Transport funds reward and punish Councils


TRANSPORT SECRETARY Alistair Darling has given seven local authorities a massive 25% boost in transport funds for meeting targets and working up good plans for future schemes.

But three authorities - Windsor & Maidenhead, Milton Keynes and Luton Borough - have had their funding slashed by 12.5%.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said they had failed to meet targets set out in their local plans and have lost a combined total of £850,000 in funding as a result.

Cornwall County Council's capital spending pot for 2006/07 increased from £8.5M to £10.7M, Reading Borough Council's rose from £4.9M to £6.1M, Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire's joint pot jumped from £10.5M to £13.1M and Derby and Derbyshire's joint pot went up from £3.5M to £4.4M.

The extra capital funding has been awarded by Darling as part of the annual local transport plan settlement.

It has been given to authorities deemed to be making excellent progress towards existing plan targets and making 'very promising' plans for the next five year period.

In total £1.6bn has been allocated to councils nationally, the same amount as last year.

Of this £200M will be allocated after the DfT receives advice from regional transport boards later this month.

Overall, 16 local authorities have had funding increased by 12.5% for producing plans described as 'very promising' by the Department for Transport.

Eleven were assessed as making 'excellent progress' towards their plan targets and have also been granted 12.5% extra.

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