Prioritising and Funding Transport Infrastructure and Initiatives

Funding for transport schemes is secured from:

When funding is secured at the beginning of the year, a timetable of planned works is drawn up. We take into account the strategy and objectives of the Local Transport Plan.

Schemes are prioritised through an appraisal process. We take into account schemes that will best contribute to our Local Transport Plan key targets, including sustainable economic growth and the best value for money.

The scheduling of works is also affected by the design process and works that are funded by development contributions and available grant funding.

The programme is approved in March each year by the Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment.

Development Contributions

Development contributions are made by landowners and developers to ensure that where planning permission is granted for new development the impact on the environment is minimised and infrastructure necessary to support the development can be provided.

Grant Funding

With continued reductions of direct funding from government, the County Council actively seeks external funding by working in partnership at both a strategic and local level.

Local Growth Funding

Delivering economic growth is now the responsibility of Local Enterprise Partnerships where local authorities and businesses work in partnership to prioritise investment in infrastructure to enable housing and commercial development to come forward.

East Sussex County Council is part of two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).These are the South East (SELEP) and the Coast 2 Capital (C2CLEP). To support this work the government has provided a ‘Growth Deal’ that LEP’s can bid for. In the first round the County Council has secured £73.4m of Local Growth Funding, which will enable key strategic transport projects to be prioritised and delivered following the development and approval of robust business cases.

The County Council and partners will continue to develop the business case for the projects that did not receive funding, and to identify new ones, through working with SELEP and C2C, to secure funding from future rounds of the Growth Deal.

Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF)

In the summer of 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced a national £2.3 billion investment in infrastructure for new housing through the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). The HIF was set up to help fund vital physical infrastructure projects like the building of roads, bridges, energy networks and other utilities. Funding was also available to help build new schools, healthcare centers and digital infrastructure to accommodate growing communities and alleviate pressure on public services.

East Sussex County Council working closely with Wealden District Council submitted a joint Expression of Interest (EoI) in September 2017 to the DCLG for a £32 million capital funding request to deliver three key elements to unlocking and accelerating housing growth in the Wealden area. These were (i) mitigation of nitrogen deposition in Ashdown Forest (ii) delivering a new Primary school in Hailsham and (iii) improvements to the A22 corridor. This infrastructure would help unlock and accelerate 4,500 homes all within the current Wealden Local Plan period up to 2028 across Wealden, principally in the Hailsham area. In May 2018, Government announced that the EOI was successful in progressing to the next stage which required the developed of a full business case.

In March 2019, after serious consideration and a thorough review both of the economic case and modelling analysis, in conjunction with Homes England submission guidance and technical advice, both the County Council and Wealden District Council no longer considered that the circumstances in Wealden met the requirements of the HIF funding criteria. As the bid had moved from the expression of interest stage onto the development of the Full Business Case there were significant changes to the original scope that weakened the link between investment and the unlocking of previously unviable housing land. The analysis undertaken to inform the economic case highlighted that although the total Business Case produced a strong cost benefit ratio, the majority of the benefits were transport and not housing related. Therefore, both authorities decided to withdraw the proposal.

In coming to this decision, the two Councils were mindful that a new funding stream, the Major Road Network Fund (MRN) which specifically related to the transport interventions, had been introduced and it was considered that there is a higher likelihood of success for this bid. An outline business case for MRN funding for the A22 Corridor was submitted to Government through Transport for the South East in July 2019.

Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Forward Funding bid

Access Fund Programme 2017-2020

The Department for Transport (DfT) Access Fund was set up to enable local authorities to bid for up to £1.5m of revenue funding to deliver targeted programmes of cycling and walking initiatives during 2017/18 – 2019/20, and in the longer term.

The key objectives of the Access Revenue Fund are to deliver cycling and walking projects which:-

  • improve access to jobs, skills, training and education,
  • seek to grow the economy by boosting levels of cycling and walking, along with
  • demonstrate an alignment to health, air quality, and reduced vehicle emissions.

ESCC submitted a £1.417.5m bid on 9 September 2016 to the DfT; with a revenue funding ask of £1.2m to the DfT, alongside £217,540 of local contributions. We are pleased to announce that this bid has been successful, and the East Sussex Active Access for Growth programme will commence from April 2017, until March 2020.

The programme will deliver cycling and walking initiatives in the county growth areas of Newhaven, Eastbourne & South Wealden and Bexhill/Hastings, integrated alongside County Council programmes of work focused on employment and skills, work force development and public health led community development projects.

Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2011-2016

The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) was set up to encourage local transport authorities to deliver sustainable transport infrastructure and initiatives around walking, cycling and public transport. ESCC secured over £4 million for schemes to support access to jobs and education, across Lewes, Newhaven, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings. A partnership project to support sustainable visitor access to the South Downs and New Forest National Parks was successful in securing £3.8 million.

Sustainable Travel Transition Year Funding 2016-17

The ‘Sustainable Travel and Access for Growth in East Sussex’ (STAGES) bid, was submitted to the DfT in March 2016, but was unfortunately unsuccessful. This programme would have continued with the delivery of East Sussex Wheels 2 Work, the Sustrans Bike It project and sustainable travel marketing.

Bid document: Sustainable Travel and Access for Growth in East Sussex 2016/17

Income Generation

Where we generate any surplus from civil parking enforcement it can be used to fund transport improvements. We are also able to charge for some of the services we provide, including driver training and Bikeability for adults, which support these services towards financial sustainability.