HC Deb 07 March 1988 vol 129 c99W
Mrs. Maureen Hicks

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any plans for further road investment.

Mr. Channon

I am adding two new major projects to my road programme:

—a £50 million grant for the construction of a new road through the Black Country, linking the Black Country development corporation area to the M5 and M6: and

—a £59 million scheme to improve the A13 between Limehouse and Dagenham to assist the redevelopment of Docklands and east London and linking in to the London Docklands Development Corporation's docklands highway.

These new schemes will provide better transport links to stimulate new enterprise and jobs in these two inner-city areas. They are in addition to the £2 billion of schemes — two fifths of the total — already in my trunk road programme, which will directly assist the regeneration of inner cities throughout the country. More such schemes will follow.

Mr. Jack

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in theOfficial Report the numerical criteria used to determine the proportion of local authority block grants allowed for expenditure on roads.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Local authorities receive support for roads expenditure through two grants, which form part of aggregate exchequer grant (AEG). The criteria for determining AEG are set out in section 54(4) of the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980.

Capital expenditure on roads of more than local importance is supported by transport supplementary grant (TSG). TSG is allocated on the basis of accepted estimated expenditure selected from bids included in highway authorities' annual transport policies and programme (TPPs). Criteria used include cost/benefit analyses and previous years' plan progress.

Like most other local authority spending, transport current expenditure and the financing costs of capital expenditure not financed by TSG are supported through block grant. This is distributed according to the expenditure of each authority in relation to its grant related expenditure assessment (GRE). GREs are built up from components for each service including roads. The roads maintenance GRE formula contains a number of factors, including road lengths and traffic volume. Details are published in the "Rate Support Grant Report (England) 1988–89" (HC. 163) and in the Department of Environment's "Technical Handbook of Grant Related Expenditure 1988–89".