The local highways maintenance challenge fund reflects the government’s strong commitment to ensure that we have well maintained local highway infrastructure fit for the 21st century. It was first announced in the 2014 Autumn Statement.
The purpose of the fund is to enable local highway authorities in England to bid for major maintenance projects that are otherwise difficult to fund through the usual formula needs element allocations they receive from government.
Following a competition in 2015, tranche 1 was launched and, with additional schemes added in the summer of 2015, 34 schemes were funded by the Department for Transport, which awarded £285 million in total. In autumn 2017, tranche 2A awarded £75 million to 19 projects following a further competition.
This tranche of the challenge fund will be available for 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021, with a total of £198 million on offer. Local authorities will be able to bid for projects that will carry out improvements to the quality of roads and surrounding infrastructure, including bridges and viaducts, to benefit the local economy and make driving safer.