£55m to be available for Westcountry transport schemes
Ministers are poised to hand down almost £55 million to officials in the Westcountry to spend on much-needed transport schemes.
The Department for Transport is devolving decision-making on major local projects, giving local areas control over how their share of funding will be spent in years to come.
It has now published provisional estimates of how much each so-called Local Transport Body will get from 2015.
Devon and Somerset are in line for £40.6 million from 2015/16 to 2018/19, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly £13.3 million.
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It remains to be seen how much the funding will achieve. For example, the recently announced 2.8 mile dualling of the A30 near Temple on Bodmin Moor will cost £30 million.
The Devon and Somerset board consists of delegates from Devon and Somerset county councils, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council, as well as the Local Enterprise Partnership for the two counties.
It meets for the first time next month and a short-list of schemes could be drawn up in April.
From 2015, each Local Transport Body will be allocated funding according to the number of people living within its boundaries.
This is a change from previous arrangements, where local areas bid for a share of a Whitehall funding pot.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "The devolution of major transport schemes will give real power to communities to make locally-accountable decisions about what will work best for them.
"The figures we have published provide the clarity local areas need to plan for the future and armed with these figures, local decision makers can start looking at the kinds of infrastructure projects that will deliver the greatest benefits for local people."