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Devolution of Local Major Scheme Funding

14 November 2012

In January 2012 the Department for Transport (DfT) started its consultation on the devolution of major scheme funding. Devolution means that new Local Transport Bodies (LTBs) will decide on what major transport schemes they want to invest in – given the pot of money available to them. In September, the Department set out its recommendations, the next steps in the process and a programme to 2015, after which funding decisions will be made by Local Transport Bodies. In October, Authorities confirmed with the DfT their geographic boundaries for their new LTB.

What next?

Assurance Frameworks

The Department has asked the new LTBs to develop and submit their assurance frameworks by December 2012. The assurance frameworks must set out:

  • Governance -  membership of the LTB; identify the accountable body and its role and responsibilities; and capability to ensure effective review and challenge of the major scheme programme and individual investments.
  • Financial control and stewardship – financial accountabilities, quality assurance, audit and scrutiny.
  • Transparent decision-making – political and local accountability through availability and scrutiny of decisions and documentation, involvement of the public and stakeholders in decision making.
  • Mechanisms for meeting, testing and delivering value for money – appraisal quality standards, value for money thresholds, other eligibility criteria, local match funding and deliverability considerations.


The DfT has also asked the new LTBs to provide prioritised lists of major schemes by April 2013. This is to inform the next spending review. The DfT is asking for a robust prioritisation methodology and evidence base, clearly agreed assessment criteria and adequate separation between the scheme promoters and decision makers so that the LTB (and the DfT) can be assured that it is receiving impartial advice. The Early Appraisal and Sifting Tool (EAST) is recommended, but not mandatory.

Programme Management and Investment Decisions

The DfT will want to be assured that the major scheme programmes put forward by LTBs are deliverable in the four years of the spending review period. A realistic implementation timetable will be needed. A framework for programme level management, including risk management seems essential. The DfT will want to see proposals for cost control and cost over-run management.

Devolution Programme

  • DfT provides indicative major scheme funding levels - October 2012
  • DfT provides guidance on assurance frameworks - October 2012
  • Local Transport Bodies to provide assurance frameworks - December 2012
  • Local Transport Bodies to provide prioritised lists of major schemes - April 2013
  • Investment case development for prioritised scheme - 2013 to 2015
  • Major scheme funding spend - 2015 to 2019

Contact us

Steer Davies Gleave has secured billions in major scheme funding for our clients.

We have been working with the West of England Authorities on their major scheme programme for the past six years and have gained valuable experience working with Authorities voluntarily and jointly promoting  schemes across authority boundaries - from early scheme option identification to procurement of contractors.

We can help you develop your assurance framework, share our experience of working with the Early Appraisal and Sifting Tool (EAST), help you assess possible key prioritisation criteria such as contribution to Gross Value Added or provide independent review and scrutiny of your assurance and prioritisation frameworks and your investment assessment and shortlisting.

Our major scheme team would welcome the opportunity to discuss any aspects of your bid. Please contact:
Sharon Daly
t 020 7910 5000

About the author

Sharon Daly's picture
Sharon Daly
Sharon is Managing Director for our UK business. An accountant by training, Sharon's career began working for the Department for Transport in South Australia. Since joining SDG in 2000, she has been a pivotal senior member of management, leading the UK planning team’s success in growing revenues and expanding its client-base.

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