Regional transport programme 35% over budget

The Highways Agency has reported that rising construction costs have pushed the North West's ten-year transport investment programme over budget by £400m, equivalent to 35.5%.

The figures mean some schemes are at risk of being deferred until after the next Regional Funding Allocation in 2015. However, Government Office for the North West said the region has one of the best Regional Funding Allocation programmes: "Our RFA is one of the greatest with the best achievements and completed schemes, and we have earned some considerable goodwill with the Department for Transport."

Lord Peter Smith, chairman of 4NW, the regional leaders' forum that replaced the North West Regional Assembly, responded: "We need to talk to the DfT about the way the Highways Agency calculates some of these figures and challenge them on their assumptions."

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