Department for Transport Challenge Fund Bid

Submission information

Aims of the Department for Transport Challenge Fund

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.

Highway assets have an optimal operational lifespan, after which they deteriorate. It is clear that some of this country’s existing highway assets may now be moving to more costly stages of their natural life-cycle with some components already reaching the end of their serviceable life. In addition to the natural ageing process of highway infrastructure, the life-cycle of the asset has in places deteriorated at a faster rate than perhaps originally envisaged, sometimes as a result of past under-investment, as well as severe weather events which have compounded the problems.

The roads network is a vital lifeline which needs to be enhanced and maintained. The government is committed to upgrading and renewing local road infrastructure so, through the challenge fund, it is encouraging local authorities to invest in these roads and make journeys safer.

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council bids

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) prioritised two bids. WYCA submitted the bids to the Department for Transport by on behalf of Bradford Council.

Bid 1: A650/A6177 Improvements £4.9m

The bid package involves the infilling of a number of subways and replacing with at grade crossings or junction improvements along the A650, refurbishment of the remaining subways on the A6177 Dudley Hill.

The corridor maintenance package also includes highway resurfacing, renewal or renovation of central reservation on the three lane dual carriageway sections. Central reservation barriers where needed may utilise slipform concrete or sectional concrete barrier to replace life expired elements. Updating drainage elements with attenuation where possible. Environmental planting will be used to enhance the visual landscape amenity and direct pedestrians to controlled crossings with reduced need for guardrails.

Bid 2: Structural Maintenance of Key Routes £5m

The strategy set out in this proposal will improve the reliability of the carriageway and retaining wall structures on the A644 Brighouse and Denholme Road, B6145 Thornton Road/Cemetery Road, B6429 Manywells Brow, C583 Allerton Lane which would otherwise suffer particular social, environmental and economic risks should they be unexpectedly disrupted through structural failure.

The works involve essential retaining wall and carriageway reconstruction and resurfacing works including some realignment.

The proposed works compliment the previously implemented longer term resilience retaining wall strengthening works to main district routes along and across the Pennine ridge to the west of the district.

The Department for Transport intends to notify the winning bids by the end of December 2019.

Submission documents