Not Enough Government Funding For Ely Southern Bypass

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

A RECENT letter to the Ely Standard suggests that the East of England Regional Assembly is at fault for a lack of funding for the Ely Southern Bypass. The truth is more complex. Responsibility for funding transport in the East of England lies with central

A RECENT letter to the Ely Standard suggests that the East of England Regional Assembly is at fault for a lack of funding for the Ely Southern Bypass. The truth is more complex.

Responsibility for funding transport in the East of England lies with central Government, and the fact is there is not enough money to go round.

Only one in five of the transport schemes seeking funding through the regional transport pot are likely to receive it over the next 10 years. Basically, there is a huge mismatch between the money needed for transport investment and the funding available.

The Assembly, working with councils and other partners such as the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), therefore had a very tough job in deciding which transport schemes to recommend to Government. We would have dearly liked to recommend many more.

The schemes that were recommended were those that offered the very best outcomes for making our transport system more sustainable, reducing congestion and promoting economic and housing growth.

In making the recommendations, we also recognised that local bypass schemes faced fierce competition in securing funds from the regional transport pot.

We are therefore recommending that from 2015, £40 million is ring-fenced for local transport schemes and a further £44 million for schemes that deliver growth and regeneration. This will provide more opportunity for bypass schemes such as the Ely Southern Bypass to be successful.

Government ministers will respond to the region's recommendations later this year.

However, it must be acknowledged that with the general lack of transport investment funding available from central Government, it will still be difficult for schemes to secure funding.

We continue to campaign strongly for more investment in the East of England.

CLLR JOHN REYNOLDS

Chairman

East of England Regional Assembly

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