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Regional Funding Allocation Consultation, January 2009

Background to the RFA and why we're asking for funding to be withdrawn

How to respond to the consultation

(Note: The consultation period has now closed.)

Background and why we want funding to be withdrawn

Although the government decides which projects to promote, the regions have to decide how to allocate the money. In the North West, the various counties and cities compete to have their pet transport projects funded by the region.

The transport programmes listed in the NW Regional Funding Allocation account of 135% of the region's budget. The Department for Transport allows overprogramming of 20%, so the region has to look for ways bring their list of schemes within budget.

We are asking 4NW to invest instead in a strategy for the A628 that provides a sustainable solution in line with latest policy and thinking on transport and the environment.

Given that the recent increases in road scheme cost estimates account for 70% of this over-allocation, and that Mottram-Tintwistle is one of the three projects, we consider that the A628 scheme should be dropped by the 4NW group when they revisit the list of schemes in the RFA.

Mottram-Tintwistle bypass was estimated to cost £184 million in July 2007. In June 2008 a new estimate was published as a range, from £223 and £315 million [1]. That works out at £100 million per mile, equivalent to £56,000 per metre of tarmac. In the current RFA, the scheme estimate is listed as £242.2 million. We think that is a conservative estimate given the delays and the problems encountered so far and the likelihood of further delays.

We are asking 4NW to take action in support of their aim of “tackling climate change and mitigating its effects” and making the issue of tackling climate change “central to the region’s transport plans.”

One of the main reasons for trying to stop this scheme getting funding is its negative impact on the climate. According to the latest set of figures (published by the Highways Agency in 2007 and currently being revisesd), if the scheme is built local CO2 levels are set to increase by over 9% (versus the baseline “Do Nothing” scenario), an increase of 15,000 tonnes per year. Levels of other pollutants, such as NOx and PM10s, are also forecast to increase. This is at odds with various local, regional, and national policies [2][3][4] and is a misguided "solution" in an age when there is a consensus among scientists and politicians on the need to act to reduce our impact on the climate.

4NW are required to assess the schemes in the RFA on four criteria: the evidence base, realism, value for money, and consistency with national strategies and multiarea agreements.

We consider that the Mottram Tintwistle bypass fails to meet each of these criteria.

We are also asking them to do more than pay lipservice to evidence that “it is now widely accepted that constructing new roads to accommodate future traffic growth is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable. The emphasis should therefore be on increasing the role of public transport together with making best use of existing highway infrastructure through the development of effective strategies for network and demand management.

We are asking all our supporters and the existing network of climate and transport campaigners send a short letter to 4NW asking them to withdraw funding for the A628 Mottram Tintwistle bypass.

To read our response to the 4NW consulation in full, download the PDF.

[1] Highways Agency Major Roads Programme: Updated Scheme Cost Estimates, 16 July 2008
[2] The Climate Change Bill, with the target of a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (against the 1990 baseline).
[3] NW Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), Policy DP 9: Reduce Emissions and Adapt to Climate Change
[4] A Climate Change Action Plan for England’s Northwest 2007-09

How to Object

(Note: The consultation period has now closed.)

There are many different ways to object. You can write in your own words or use our pro forma letter.

To object via e-mail:

Send an e-mail to Explain that you are responding to the 4NW RFA2 Consultation.

To object via post:

Write your own letter (or download and send our pro forma letter) to:

Robert Bancroft
Policy Officer
Northwest Development Agency (NWDA)
PO Box 37
Renaissance House
Centre Park

On your letter you should explain that you are responding to the 4NW RFA2 Consultation.

Additional Information

The complete 4NW RFA2 consultation document can be downloaded from:

A Climate Change Action Plan for Englandís Northwest 2007-09, see:



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