DfT Access Fund - £60m competition

The Department for Transport has set up an Access fund to build on the legacy of the LSTF, using the £100m a year capital and £20m a year revenue allocated for sustainable transport at the Spending Review.  

The Department has split its revenue funding into a £20m Sustainable Transport Transition Year for 2016-17 only and a £60m Access fund for the following three years. 

The £500m capital for sustainable transport is embedded in the Local Growth Fund (LGF).  A further round of the LGF competition was announced by Greg Clark in March 2016 for which the deadline is now 28th July.

We encourage all Local Authorities to work in partnership with their Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and to think now about aligning their future bids for revenue funding with the proposals that LEPs are currently developing for the Local Growth Fund.

The objectives of the Access fund (revenue only) £60m competition will be:

  • To support the local economy by supporting access to new and existing employment, education and training; and
  • To actively promote increased levels of physical activity through walking and cycling.

Local Authorities should make clear where there are connections and/or dependencies between the bids for revenue funding from the Access fund, and bids for capital funding from the Local Growth Fund.

Any enquiries please contact

Bus Services Bill

The Bus Services Bill, announced in the Queen's speech, will allow local authorities new powers to decide how bus services are provided. The Department for Transport (DfT) has outlined the main points of the Bill as:

* to strengthen arrangements for partnership working in the sector, introducing ‘enhanced partnerships’

* introduce new franchising powers with decisions at a local level

* to provide for a step change in the information available to bus passengers. 

Further details on these new powers, including detailed information on the main measures in the Bill, can be found on DfT's website.


Transport Delivery Excellence

Transport activity is a significant focus of Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Local Growth Deals, recently agreed by Government.

In July 2014, the Government allocated £3bn for new transport projects (for activity between 2015/16 and 2020/21). This represents the largest local transport funding announcement for over a decade. This funding is in addition to £1bn already allocated to LEPs through Local Transport bodies, as well as the pre-2015 local transport funding streams, including many projects that are still being delivered.

The £3bn includes 200 projects starting in 2015/16 and a ‘pipeline’ of 120 projects for start in 2016/17 onwards. The projects range in size from £0.5m to £180m. Some are discrete road and transport improvements, whilst a number are packages of interrelated projects.

Transport Delivery Excellence

The Growth Deal funding is coming at a time of constrained local resource and a difficult market where the construction industry is still emerging out of the recession with limited capacity. It is important that LEPs continue to remain confident that their projects (whether delivered directly or by partners) can be delivered within the timescales agreed and that any risks relating to their projects (including planning, land ownership, utilities and community support) are understood and managed.

The LEP Network and the Department for Transport have been working together on the development of the Transport Delivery Excellence project.

The project aims to help LEPs and their partners achieve excellence in the delivery of transport projects against this challenging context. It will offer material, tools, and face to face input for those LEPs and their delivery partners that want them. This project is focused on transport delivery but it could have wider applicability across the whole of the LGF programme. An overview of Transport Delivery Excellence Programme – Phase One – October 2014

Further information about the Transport Delivery Excellence toolkit can be found below.

On 4th December 2014, the Transport Delivery Excellent Toolkit was launched to help LEPs manage the implementation of their transport projects in 2015/16 and, if required, access DfT funding to help with areas raised by the toolkit. Although it is developed to assist transport projects, the toolkit can also be applied to other areas of LEP activity. You can access the toolkit and guidance in the links below … 

Guidance and Introduction to TDE Toolkit
TDE Self-assessment Toolkit

On 14th July 2015 Local Partnerships hosted a conference centred on the the DfT funded Transport Delivery Excellence (TDE) programme. In addition to promoting lessons learned, a key objective of the conference was to discuss and frame the support to be provided in a further phase to the programme (likely to be delivered in Q3 and Q4 of 2015-16).

The conference was open to all LEPs and their delivery partners, and was attended by 20 organisations.

Attendees represented organisations who had received support from LP, organisations who had received support from other suppliers as well as organisations who had not taken part in the programme.

The full report from the event is available to download.


LEPs met on Wednesday 11th May 2016 to hear about the new support from DfT for the Sustainable Transport Delivery Excellence Programme (STDEP). The aim of the workshop was to:

  • introduce the STDE programme and its fit within wider government policy;
  • share the initial plans from Sustrans for a series of three toolkits and for LEPs to feed in suggestions to ensure the toolkits meet their needs;
  • share some inspiring examples of projects and research relating to sustainable transport and the themes of the toolkits i.e. the local economy, public health, and housing growth and planning.

The following presentations were delivered:

Ben Ridehalgh from DfT, presented on government policy in relation to sustainable transport.



Jason Torrance from Sustrans gave an overview of their work and an outline of the toolkit.



James Harris from the Royal Town Planning Institute, spoke about the Location of Development and implications for sustainable transport.


Gary Cleland from Halton Borough Council, presented on Halton Lea a "Healthy New Town".



Sustrans introduced the toolkit workshops, using this presentation.


Sustrans, through the coordination of a delivery consortium, in collaboration with DfT and the LEP Network, are pleased to announce the continuation of funding to provide support to those leading on the delivery of schemes through the Growth Fund. The support is funded by DfT and available on a voluntary basis.

A number of LEPs have already been actively engaged in the first phase of the DfT-funded Sustainable  Transport Delivery Excellence (STDE) Programme. If a LEP has, at this stage, not sought the support through the STDE or the TDE Programme, they should be aware that the TDE covers all projects funded through the Growth Deals. The sustainable transport element reflects a recognition by the programme board (DfT, BIS/CLG, IUK and the LEP Network) of the particular risks associated with the delivery of sustainable transport schemes, not least as a result of the addition of sustainable transport capital funding to the Growth Fund and the alignment and integration of projects funded through the Growth Deals with sustainable transport revenue being delivered by local authorities and funded directly by DfT.

The project will continue to provide expertise in the design of the delivery of sustainable transport projects to those LEPs and respective partners who identify this particular need.  The support will be delivered by a consortium coordinated by Sustrans through Local Partnerships’ overall co-ordination of the TDE programme. The delivery consortium is a partnership of leading walking, cycling and health organisations committed to providing opportunities for people to have a choice of door-to-door travel opportunities that support the physical, social and environmental benefits of an integrated and sustainable transport system.

A senior representative from Sustrans within your locality will be making contact with LEPs to explore the opportunities and services that are available as part of the Sustainable Transport Delivery Excellence Programme. Sustrans, on behalf of the consortium, are liaising closely with DfT, the LEP Network & Local Partnerships to ensure that we build upon the work already carried out through the TDE assessment tool to identify the need for support and to mitigate the identified risks specifically related to sustainable travel.

In the meantime, if you have any queries regarding the programme and the type of services offered please contact:

Paul Hilton, Senior Project Officer, Infrastructure

0117 915 0313 (direct line) | 07825 381927 |


LEPs met on Friday 22nd January 2016 to hear about the latest developments in transport and local growth, including a key address from John Dowie, Director General at DfT. LEPs heard about Highways England’s Strategic Economic Growth Plans and the new £100m Growth & Housing Fund. There were opportunities to hear from a few stakeholders about how they can help LEPs deliver their local strategic transport plans.

The meeting was kindly hosted by ARUP, who provided the meeting space and refreshments.

The following presentations were delivered:

Joanna Rowelle, (Director, Planning, Policy & Economics), delivered this presentation.


John Dowie (Director General, Roads, Traffic & Local), delivered this presentation.



Mahmood Azam (Head of Strategy, Growth and Economic Development), delivered this presentation.

Jim Scopes (Programme Director), gave an update about the Transport Delivery Excellence programme outlined in detail below.


Jason Torrance (Policy & Partnerships Director), referred to this handout. There is also information on the Sustainable Transport Delivery Excellence programme below.


Claire Haigh (Chief Executive), delivered this presentation.


Richard Bruce (Head of OLEV), delivered this presentation.


In July 2014, the Department for Transport undertook a review of transport resilience, which can be found on the website at: .

Recommendation 26 reads: “When bidding for funds, Local Enterprise Partnerships should consider the need for funding to ensure the resilience of the existing transport network which supports businesses in their areas.”

DfT are conscious that there are a number of partnerships who already place a high priority on the resilience of existing infrastructure and this Recommendation will be of more interest or relevance to some LEPs rather than others.

DfT have confirmed that this Recommendation does not diminish the DfT commitment to provide core local road maintenance funding to local highway authorities – for which £976m has been allocated every year for the next 6 years.

The attached letter from DfT outlines the above … click to download Transport Resiliance Review.