Department for Transport challenge fund

On 1 March the Department for Transport launched the latest bidding round for the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.

There is a total of £75m available in 2017/18 with each Local Authority can submit one bid, for up to £5m.

The Fund is designed to help maintain and improve existing local highways infrastructure. The types of project that will be eligible for funding include:

  • Structural maintenance, strengthening or renewal of bridges, retaining walls or other structures, particularly bridges in areas subject to flooding, including those areas affected in 2015
  • Major maintenance, full depth reconstruction of carriageways, structural maintenance of tunnels and culverts
  • Improvement of footways or cycleways, footbridge or cycle bridge renewal
  • Renewal of gullies and replacement of drainage assets

A scheme may consist of a specific site, such as renewal of a structure, or it may be renewal on several sites within a local highway network.

It is not proposed to fund street lighting works, or fund bids to improve or maintain Public Rights of Way, eg bridleways.

To ensure strong local commitment, promoters will need to contribute at least 10% of total scheme costs.

The local contribution could include an element of funding from outside the public sector (eg developer funding).

Our bid 

Our bid is for funding to assist in the repair of the local road network within the fenland soil areas of Norfolk, where the severe droughts of 2010-12 caused exceptional damage across the network and have left a legacy of work which we have not been able to fully address with our available funding.

It consists of 25 individual sites with a cumulative length of 16 miles.

The amount of funding sought from the DfT is £3.57m to which Norfolk County Council would add £441,000.

All the works would be undertaken in 2017-18.

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